ACPR launches “Stories of Mullivaikkaal” Project

June 2, 2017

Today the Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research (ACPR) launches “Stories of Mullivaikkaal”, the first series in ACPR’s “Stories of Resilience” project at www.storiesofresilience.com.

‘Stories of Mullivaikkaal’ is launched in commemoration of all those who lost their lives in the last phase of the armed conflict. The stories featured present alternative narratives from survivors of Mullivaikkaal which does not narrow their lived experiences to helpless victimhood but rather promotes and accepts their agency.

I used to sew a lot of sandbags from saris, that people would place around their bunkers. I put the sewing machine in the bunker and sewed from there nonstop. I didn’t ask for money. I made bag after bag. It wasn’t very comfortable in the bunker but I never rested. My husband distributed the bags. People didn’t ask how much they had to pay and I never asked for money either—we just kept a box where people could give money if they chose. But I didn’t care about the money—it was just important that we all survive.” – Excerpt from Shalini’s Story

“We feel that in trying to come to terms with the horrific atrocities committed during the armed conflict and re-shape the collective Tamil identity, it is important for the focus to not be narrowed just to victimhood,” said Senior Researcher for ACPR, Dharsha Jegatheeswaran. “Memorialisation must also include documenting narratives of the conflict that give credit to survivors’ agency and resilience, and the incredible strength exhibited by countless Tamil civilians during the last phase of the war.”

Stories will continue to be added to the ‘Stories of Mullivaikkaal’ series and then a short print volume with the stories will be published before the end of the year in English and Tamil.

‘Stories of Mullivaikkaal’ is part of a bigger project ACPR is embarking on entitled ‘Stories of Resilience’ which aims to document and share stories of strength, courage and resilience of Tamil civilians before, during and after the armed conflict.

To read the stories and find out more about the project visit: www.storiesofresilience.com

For any further information please contact the Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research at info@adayaalam.org.