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Talk #47: Nillanthan

Please note this event will take place on 21 May 2017 Image: Raavanaa, pen and ink on paper, 1990 Talk #47: Though I am not a Painter “Though I have written some…

  • Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture & Design, 199 Temple Road, Jaffna Town, Jaffna.
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Please note this event will take place on 21 May 2017

Image: Raavanaa, pen and ink on paper, 1990

Talk #47: Though I am not a Painter

“Though I have written some poems, I do not want to be titled as a poet. Though I have done some paintings, I do not want to be titled as a painter. Though I have drawn some cartoons, I do not want to be titled as a cartoonist. Though I have been writing political columns, I do not want to be titled as a political analyst”, says the artist Nillanthan. Talk #47 will focus on the work of one of Jaffna’s most influential and important cultural figures. For over thirty years, Nillanthan has been engaged in making work, in the form of writing, book covers, drawings, paintings, poetry and plays, about the war. This body of work has self-consciously dealt with the experiences of trying to observe and respond to a war accompanied by all the contradictions of what Nillanthan describes when he says, “I am the product of war as well as the witness of war”.

In 2002 Nillanthan held a solo exhibition at Puthukudiyiruppu, Mullaitivu titled Pillaiyaar War Portraits. Group exhibitions have been held at University of Jaffna in 1999 and in Trincomalee in 1998. From 1988 to 1989 he contributed illustrations and cartoons to ‘Thisai’, a Jaffna based weekly and from 1990 he worked as a political columnist and sub-editor for the same weekly. He has also worked as a political columnist for ‘Eelanatham’ (Jaffna) from 1991-1993, ‘Eeelanatham’ (Kilinochchi) from 2000-2005 and ‘Veera Kesari’ (Colombo) from 2002-2005. Since 2013 he has been a political columnist for ‘Thinakural’ (Colombo). Collections of Tamil poetry include: Manpaddinankal (Earthly Towns), 2000, Vannie Maanmiyam (Glory of Vanni), 2002, Yaalpaaname O Enathu Yaalpaaname (Jaffna oh my Jaffna), 2002, Ini Enathu Naatkale Varum (The Future is Mine), 2012. Nillanthan was born in Jaffna in 1965 where in continues to live and work.

Talk #47: Nillanthan

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