A residency program for lens-based artists and photographers from Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka intending to work with local resources to research and develop cross cultural bodies of work on shared histories, cultures and environments, supported by Goethe-Institut Chennai and Goethe-Institut Sri Lanka and implemented in collaboration with Chennai Photo Biennale Foundation and Kälam.
Connected by a conflicted past, but also by the continuums of shared waters, language, cuisine, cultures, climatic conditions, fishing systems, art and dance forms - Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka have a long, shared history. Shared Tides is an attempt to relook at the very ideology/notion of borders, citizenship and identity cross shared by these two geographies.
As neighbours, who live and breathe within their respective borders, is there a way for these tides to be seen as a shared phenomenon - as a ground of shared realities, differences, yet hope?
Tides, symbolic of the highs and lows, as well as of the borders they touch, never exist in isolation. In that sense, they re-emphasise the nature of sharing, and that all our basic needs are all from shared sources. They also represent the commonality among the differences that have bound us together over time. Tides, carrying memories of the highs and lows, are reservoirs of the past. Stories, if heard closely, make us hear numerous voices about these shared voices and a life lived - like a lullaby of a father, the want of a fisherman, the longing of a lover, the anger of a mother and many more!
"..in my broken voice
i also want to sing,
love-filled songs of sorrow." ( S.Bose )
Personal stories and narratives are rich sources of evidence to understand not just what happened, but also how it happened. This would lead to a collective retelling of history of the heard and unheard voices and lead to a better understanding of the past - initiating a conversation through art, language, culture and storytelling - of shared memories, histories and beliefs retold with a collective voice. By looking at the past, the hope is to start building a world of shared prosperity and social justice, of forgiveness and empathy.
"...at least in some moments
give permission to someone,
to ask some questions that
raise from within the
depth of their heart and
talk them out." ( S.Bose )
The poem was written by S. Bose, a Tamil writer-poet from Vavuniya, Sri Lanka. His poetry emphasised the need for voices and the want to be heard. ( 2000 )