Social Documentary Photography – The Tamil Community In Sri Lanka

Two Sisters and another member of staff at VAROD, a rehabilitation centre aiding children whose lives have been crippled by conflict or who suffer from a disability. Its role goes beyond that of a rehabilitation centre. It has provided a safe haven for Tamil children since the war ended. It represents a home, school, hospital, university, playground, mother and father. The staff’s dedication is matched only by the children’s joy
Vavuniya, Sri Lanka, 2015

 

Social Documentary Photographer Joshua Brown is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography.  These images are from his project ‘Tamil Life‘.  To see Joshua’s projects click on any image.

 

Vavuniya, Sri Lanka, 2015

Vavuniya, Sri Lanka, 2015

 

Vavuniya, Sri Lanka, 2015

Vavuniya, Sri Lanka, 2015

 

The Tamil community in Sri Lanka have suffered devastating war crimes during the 30-year Civil War between the Tamil Tigers and the Sinhalese majority government. The conflict came to a brutal and one-sided end in 2009. The government’s policies continue to racially and religiously discriminate against the Tamils.

 

No matter the injury or disability those in need are helped Vavuniya, Sri Lanka, 2015

No matter the injury or disability those in need are helped.
Vavuniya, Sri Lanka, 2015

 

Government land grabs across the coastal regions of the north since the 2004 Tsunami and the end of the war have decimated a once thriving industry for local Tamil fisherman. Jaffna, Sri Lanka, 2015

Government land grabs across the coastal regions of the north since the 2004 Tsunami and the end of the war have decimated a once thriving industry for local Tamil fisherman.
Jaffna, Sri Lanka, 2015

 

Nonetheless the truth of Tamil life lies with the resilience of the community and its individuals. There is a assertive determination to stare down injustice and strive for some form of normality and peace. The Tamils fight for acknowledgement of the truth crimes committed and the international community to interfere and honor its responsibility to human rights.

 

An impromptu portrait. Vavuniya, Sri Lanka, 2015

An impromptu portrait.
Vavuniya, Sri Lanka, 2015

Cricket: a religion not a sport. The children play every day at 4pm until the suns robs them of the opportunity Vavuniya, Sri Lanka, 2015

Cricket: a religion not a sport. The children play every day at 4pm until the sun robs them of the opportunity.
Vavuniya, Sri Lanka, 2015

 

There are major problems facing Tamil fishermen in the near future. The government’s actions are accompanied by environmental concerns caused by the destruction of coral by fishing trawlers and the dumping of nuclear waste is obliterating the Indian Ocean Mannar Pier, Sri Lanka, 2015

There are major problems facing Tamil fishermen in the near future. The government’s actions are accompanied by environmental concerns caused by the destruction of coral by fishing trawlers and the dumping of nuclear waste is obliterating the Indian Ocean.
Mannar Pier, Sri Lanka, 2015

 

Two women descale the catch of the day. Sri Lankan society has staggering gender inequality; the women in fishing communities are tasked with the most menial and simple jobs Mannar Pier, Sri Lanka, 2015

Two women descale the catch of the day. Sri Lankan society has staggering gender inequality; the women in fishing communities are tasked with the most menial and simple jobs.
Mannar Pier, Sri Lanka, 2015

 

A father shows his son the ropes. The process of unloading the fish is done by 20 men and is over in the blink of an eye with exact precision, minus the odd fish that escapes (Mannar Pier, Sri Lanka, 2015)

A father shows his son the ropes. The process of unloading the fish is done by 20 men and is over in the blink of an eye with exact precision, minus the odd fish that escapes.
Mannar Pier, Sri Lanka, 2015

 

A fish seller preps his produce for the morning market in the fishing town of Mannar (Mannar, Sri Lanka, 2015)

A fish seller preps his produce for the morning market in the fishing town of Mannar, Sri Lanka, 2015.

 

My friend, Spunniyalingam, whose warmth and generosity embodies the Tamil spirit (Mannar, Sri Lanka, 2015)

My friend, Spunniyalingam, whose warmth and generosity embodies the Tamil spirit.
Mannar, Sri Lanka, 2015

 

The atrocities inflicted against the Tamils warrant no place in the portrayal of Tamil life; whose warmth, hospitality and pride take center stage.

 

See also:

The Enemy Within

By Joshua Brown

 


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