Toronto Metropolitan University
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Not your mother’s culture : second generation Tamil women negotiating trauma and identity through art

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posted on 2021-05-22, 15:10 authored by Ann Satkunam
This research paper focuses on the Tamil diaspora community in Canada that developed in the aftermath of the Civil War in Sri Lanka. This paper explores the impact of trauma on children of survivors, and how daughters in particular navigate these traumas. Furthermore, this paper analyzes how young women bear the trauma differently from their male counterparts, as women tend to be seen as carriers of culture. These ideas of women as carriers of culture do not afford Tamil women agency—instead they are left without choice in certain situations. Ultimately, this paper explores if art can be used as a mechanism to release the burden women feel. It uses the interview of eight Tamil women to understand their complex narratives, and to see if they use art as a means to reclaim agency. Key words: Diaspora, Sri Lankan, Art, Second-Generation Tamil Women, Identity, Cultural Purity





  • Master of Arts


  • Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP