A Home Within

In the summer before I came to graduate school, artist and friend Kohila Kurunathan and I were invited by Gallery 44 – Centre for Contemporary Photography and the Toronto Animated Image Society to work on a project that explored the relationship between photography and animation. Our collaboration, A Home Within, grew from conversations about our grandparents’ migrations. Kohila’s grandmother and grandfather had left Sri Lanka for Canada and Australia respectively, following a civil war, while mine had migrated from India to Pakistan at Partition, before moving to Canada in the late 1970s. Homes that had been left behind in Sri Lanka and India figured largely in the family narratives, yet our own experiences of these homes were imagined, as they remained inaccessible to both of us.

Working with photographs from family albums as well as drawings made by family members who had lived in these homes, we merged our narratives. Within the stories surrounding the migrations, we found overlapping references to books, maps, train tracks and clothes. These elements found their way into the work as we literally and figuratively drew transitions between the photographs to create an animation. The drawings became the points of our interventions into the accounts, as we augmented, changed and translated to make sense of absences that have become part of two very distinct, yet parallel, collective memories.

Shown At

  • Gallery 44 in Toronto as part of their show ‘Cut and Paste’ in 2009.
  • The Society for Photographic Education National Conference in Atlanta in 2011