Tamil Feminist Praxis: Embodying Complexity


Date(s) - 11/02/2022
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


Image of yellow and pink flower petals on a pile of sand with white candles and a person’s arm hovering over to light one of the candles. Text reads: “Tamil Feminist Praxis: Embodying Complexity, Wednesday, November 2nd, 12:00pm EDT in-person)”

Marking the launch of the oral history collection “Tamil Feminist Liberation: An Archive of What Could Be,” the PublicsLab and South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) will be hosting a participatory, interactive workshop on holding complexity when facing traumatic histories of communal violence. This in-person workshop is catered towards practitioners and individuals who work with, are part of, or connected to communities and diasporas experiencing post-war collective trauma, histories of ethnic cleansing, and internecine (in-group) violence.

Oftentimes, communities that have endured civil/structural/armed violence simultaneously include recipients, witnesses, and perpetrators of harm. Sometimes the same person can identify with all three categories. The diasporic Ilankai (Sri Lankan) Tamil community is no exception, having endured decades of violence at the hands of the Sri Lankan state, majoritarian forces, global migration regimes, and from within the Tamil community itself. Under these conditions, healing community trauma means embracing the complexities of violence inflicted and endured by members of the same ethnicity, locality, and family.

Listening to complexities and nuances Tamil feminists offer in their storytelling, we will have the opportunity to reflect upon our relationship to complexities we embody. We will explore how the capacity for complex realities and possibilities live in the communities we value, love, or move through. This interactive participatory workshop guides you to notice the wisdom of your body through journaling, breath, gentle movement and storytelling.

Portions of this workshop will include references to violence. You are encouraged to arrive with materials that are grounding to you (i.e. a smooth rock in your pocket or wearing a fabric that reminds you of soft warmth). Folks are always welcome to participate in the manner that is comfortable to you and to honor your needs and self-care during the course of our time together.

This workshop builds on the launch event for “Tamil Feminist Liberation: An Archive of What Could Be” held on September 30, 2022.

Event Details & Registration

This event will be held in-person, in the Skylight Room at the GC (9th floor, Room 9100). Please RSVP for the workshop by registering here! If you have any accessibility needs for this event, please email us at publicslab@gc.cuny.edu.

The PublicsLab thanks Shibanee Sivanayagam and Kartik Amarnath for their work in organizing this event.

Headshot for MeenadchiMeenadchi (she/her) is a somatic healing practitioner whose work centers the softness of meeting our best self and deepening into our collective light. Using a blend of Family Constellation Therapy and Non-Violent Communication, Meenadchi supports inquisitive individuals and entreprenuerial changemakers in reconnecting with the intuitive wisdom of our bodies so that we can co-create intergenerational healing by changing the way we speak to ourselves, each other, and the universe. Meenadchi holds a clinical license in occupational therapy and has historically served communities impacted by gender-based violence, complex trauma, and serious mental illness. She is the author of Decolonizing Non-Violent Communication (2019).


Headshot for YaliniDreamYaliniDream is a cultural worker, performing artist, organizer, somatics practitioner, and consultant who reshapes reality and transforms culture; seeking peace through justice in lands of earth, psyche, body and dream. In their coaching practice, YaliniDream employs creative, contemplative and somatic practices to support people in identifying the areas they need support and growth. YaliniDream coaches from an anti-oppression lens and trauma-informed approach, with expertise in cultivating creativity/innovation, leadership development, healing justice and conflict navigation. YaliniDream also provides thought partnership to support alignment of values and action.


Headshot for Kartik AmarnathKartik Amarnath (he/him) is a 2021-2022 Archival Creator Fellow at the South Asian American Digital Archive and coordinated the oral history project “Tamil Feminist Liberation: An Archive of What Could Be.” The ‘third culture kid’ of an Indo-Malaysian mother and Ilankai Tamil father, Kartik grew up across four countries. He is a graduate of The New School (M.S. Design & Urban Ecologies) and DePauw University (B.A. Biology; Anthropology & Philosophy minors). Prior to The New School he was a Fulbright Scholar in Kuala Lumpur studying environmental gentrification in his mother’s childhood neighborhood. His full time role is serving as the Policy Specialist at PUSH Buffalo. His writing on topics ranging from urban environmental justice to Sri Lankan Tamil feminism have been published in Environmental Health NewsThe GuardianNaked CapitalismThe Albany Times UnionTides Magazine, and academic journals in law and medicine.