40th anniversary commemoration of the Black July Pogrom
In July 1983, so-called Sri Lanka was in flames. Villages and towns inhabited mostly by Tamils, vehicles transporting Tamils, and people identifiable as Tamils were ablaze. The resulting smoke, which covered vast swathes of the islands, was caused by Sri Lankan state authorities and Sinhalese mobs who hunted civilians island-wide with machetes, steel pipes, and incendiary material. More than 3000 people fell victim to these racist killings. Later named கறுப்பு ஜூலை (Black July) after the clouds of smoke, the genocide marked a critical turning point which fueled not only the flight of the Tamil population from the islands but the ongoing eelam Tamil war of independence.
On 20th July, சௌம்யாமகேஸ்வரன் (Sowmya Maheswaran), அனுயா Fernando (Anujah) and சிந்துஜன்வரதராஜா (Sinthujan Varatharajah) invite you to commemorate the 40th anniversary of கறுப்பு ஜூலை (Black July) and to remember the collective killing and dying in a collaborative reading of eyewitness accounts.
சௌம்யாமகேஸ்வரன் (Sowmya Maheswaran) is an anthropologist working in activist, academic and consulting contexts. Her work is focused on global configurations of racism, capitalism and flight. As part of her PhD at the Humboldt University in Berlin, she is researching logics of violence and cultures of resistance with an ethnographic focus on conflicts and struggles of Tamil women.
அனுயா Fernando (Anujah) is a cultural scientist and freelance curator. She works on issues related to migration and colonialism across exhibitions, texts and documentary film projects. She is particularly interested in marginalized counter-narratives in tension with social discourse. Most recently, she co-curated the exhibition "Trotz Allem: Migration in the Colonial Metropolis of Berlin" at Museum FHXB.
சிந்துஜன்வரதராஜா (Sinthujan Varatharajah) is an essayist and political geographer based in Berlin. Their work deals with the issues of statelessness and displacement from a spatial, logistical, and materialist perspective. In 2018, they co-founded the event series "dissolving territories - cultural geographies of a new eelam", which approaches the everyday consequences of statelessness aesthetically and politically. வரதராஜா first book, 'an alle orte, die hinter uns liegen' was published by Hanser Verlag in autumn 2022.