Journey of a Tamil Woman

  • Mathushaa Sagthidas

Journey of Tamil Woman is both a reflection and celebration of familial love and loss. It's a reflection of my mum saying her final goodbyes to her parents, without knowing it would be the last ones until later life, to beginning a new life without warfare. I document important images, facts and dates of her immigration because it holds the memory of her difficult journey travelling through "muddy waters and stay up for more than 24 hours, trying to not get caught" to her then beginning a family of her own - something she, at the time she arrived to the UK, did not think would happen. BORN - This particular scan refers back to my mum's life in Jaffna before the Sri Lankan Civil War became hard to survive in with glimpses into her family and candid moments of her life when she around my age (22/23); as well as her birth certificate and chain that she brought back from Jaffna to London - a chain that she had meltdown and recreated with more gold then copper. Two of very few sentimental items that she was able to bring when trying to escapes - items that she had to hide. To me the clear colour mix unintentionally represents her life in both Jaffna and London - a symbol of a new beginning. LOST - this piece refers to the unexpected journey that my mother had taken from Jaffna to London, this was never a part of her plan and I knew she didn't expect it. With everything going on with the civil war at the time, it became too dangerous to live there and having her siblings who had moved from home, especially her brother who was living across Germany and London, she decided it was better to leave to live, despite the unexpected life in London. She always though she "stay close to her parents", she didn't think that when she made this journey of over 24 hours, that she would never be able to see them again or give them another hug. She thought that they would see her start another chapter of marriage and have children but that wasn't the case as they had passed away in the early 2000s (a time where it was still too dangerous to go back). Nonetheless this was still a new beginning, for a fresh start in a place where she didn't have to question her survival. FOUND - this celebrates a bitter sweet chapter to her life. This scan celebrates the birth, life and especially the childhood of both me and my older sister, but I say bittersweet but these glimpses into her journey is a slight reminder to me that I never had those precious moments with my grandparents and my mother didn't have the opportunity to celebrate the birth of her children with her parents. Background fabric images found on Pinterest