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Tigers and Artists -Theva Abira- Translated by - globaltamilnews:-


Tigers and Artists -Theva Abira- Translated by - globaltamilnews:-

After the armed struggle came to an end, the misery is revealed in social websites regarding the trend of works of Art and Literature of Eelam. Particularly the political stand of artists in Eelam remains debatable.  

When the armed struggle became dominant in 1980s, Literature of Eelam took aim at preparing people for struggle and stipulates the dynamics of social change by questioning the social values and racial oppression, apart from the aim of Informative and Hobby.  Personal aspirations and expressions of individual’s experiences were retarded and selflessness and the sense of fellowship had been accelerated. With the rise of LTTE, the Art and Literature was used to motivate the people for participating in the war for regaining the land and to praise the liberation movement, its leadership and heroic ancient of Tamils. The trend of Eelam’s Art and Literature was like this during the time it was isolated to the outside world.

It could be seen in any kind of upraising regardless of class struggle or ethnic struggle that When a community becomes upraise, the sense of togetherness and fellowship become dominant   than individualism.

In such periods, the socio political interests of Literature would increase. In addition to that the effort to make the Art and Literature works in line with the liberation movement also upraises.

Powers engaged in liberation struggle become afraid of alternative political stands of Artists and the criticisms over the Liberation Movement. They think Literature works at liberation struggle should be institutionalized under their monitoring.

Most of the powers do not follow the democratic practice of conducting continuous and healthier discussions over the controversial ideas by ensuring the liberation of expressions through Art and Literature Works.

It could be seen in countries experienced the Liberation struggle that Movements engaged in liberation struggle succeeded in the effort of politicizing the Art and Literature under the influence of their authority. The trend of Art and Literature politicized in this manner would become in comply with the ideology and the practice of Liberation struggle.

Based on this, those who supported the LTTE during their ruling time accepted ethical and unethical activities of LTTE simultaneously. This is the result of their choice. Artists who did not wish to be institutionalized had to keep aloof from this without a proper space for them.

Those who do not like to work with mainstream depending on the existing democracy in the context of struggle can operate as an alternative movement or an individual. But because of the LTTE’s undemocratic activities in Eelam context, that kind of space were not available.

Therefore, those who have not accepted the unethical activities of LTTE, became silent. Others kept on working with them or else came out of the stage and criticized the activities of LTTE.

The unethical activities of a Movement engaged in liberation struggle destroy the legitimacy and justice of its liberation struggle beyond its war victories. When there is no space for criticizing the stance and activities of a Movement engaged in liberation struggle, the Artists who have ethical thinking become unable to accept this.

Another important thing should be carefully noted with high significance that criticizing the oppressive government is much more important as like the importance of criticizing the bureaucracy of the Movement engaged in liberation struggle. These two criticisms are not weighed in a single balance. Artists should understand the practicability and difference between the authority of a liberation Movement engaged in liberation struggle and the oppressive government.  Artists, who are not clear on this, accept the ideology of oppressive power directly or indirectly.

Therefore, the maturity and clarity is much needed to the Artists forever in order to decide things whether to be accepted or to be refused. The restriction for Voices of Liberation during the liberation struggle causes two important troubles. Firstly the works by Artists and secondly the criticisms over the dynamics of liberation struggle are destroyed. Thus the intellectual thought and consciousness of the society is covered with the thick blanket of fearfulness.
With the collapse of LTTE, internal pressure over the Artists becomes vanished. Therefore, in present, many Artists who accepted the LTTE started analyzing the things happened during the ruling of LTTE. This analysis should be inalienable and also should not be avoided.

In the space of Art and Literature, if these analyses come to works, the responsibility of the Artist is important with high concern.

This responsibility should not come up with the one dimension that says as it is literally. Artists should realize the fact before conveying the message to the society. It should be progressively realized by Artists how the people will realize about what is conveyed to them through his/ her works. This realization should come up with the thorough considerations of past, present and future occurrences. It is much needed to learn lessons from the mistakes occurred in Eelam liberation struggle but the intention of learning lessons are utmost important.

Inability of a society trapped within the oppression to resist the oppression decides not to resist is also a lesson.  Few months ago I read a poem mentioning “Nowadays everything is normal. We could walk on the streets freely. No one disappears. We could live without any single fear”. The poem further advised not to go back to the bloody era.

Without realizing the realities, turning the socio dynamics back to the past by defining the struggle as only the armed struggle, is wrong. But an Artist who does not realize the worst oppression inside the so called peace, slavery inside the freedom without liberation and freedom inside the slavery lost his/ her soul. His/ her works lost its in-depth.

The question rises that do the Artists who criticize the authorities (Tigers/ Government) remind frequently that he/ she criticizes the authorities? But if an Artist who is in a position to always emphasizes frankly that he/ she opposes the repressive powers, then the logic that his/ her works do not covey the thought of him/ her is possible.

The theme of the message is conveyed by whomever the Artists through his/ her works without writing it in words.

 The world which is created by the Artists in the minds of readers becomes the world with deepest feelings. The world becomes open to the morals and immoral of human soul without distortion. The world becomes to reveal the socio dynamics and the power elements operating in it.

The Works which distort the human soul, Works which do not have the in depth understanding and exaggeratedly fabricated roles and Works just have marvels and weak sentiments do not make profound implications in the minds of humans. 

A Work may contain creatively wonderful images, innovative tactics, beautiful fictions and perfect write ups in proper and styled language. But in the world run through the bureaucratic powers, Works lost its theme when the Works do not have the clarity of the message conveyed by it.

Thus, Works without theme come within the scope of assisting the repression whether knowingly or unknowingly.  Repression does not alone mean racial repression. Artist is defeated if he/ she does not take the repression in terms of race, sex and class into account.

Courtesy against oppression is always there in the Works of an artist who understands the political clarity of all matters from the individual human emotions to social consciousness. This is not intentionally made.  

What I mention here is not institutionalized form of politics or party politics. Institutionalized form of politics is a small element among political activities in dynamic society. It is not wrong to tell that those who supported the LTTE and those who criticized the LTTE as their prime duty understood the oppressive politics unilaterally.     

When the oppressed is also an oppressive, then the stances of Artists will be as like walking on the edges of a knife. As equal to the justice and legitimacy of Eelam freedom struggle, inside the Eelam there were suppressions and still it remains.

What we eventually achieved after the massive loss up to now is the freedom to criticize the Sri Lankan government during the ruling of LTTE and the freedom to criticize the LTTE during this ruling of Sri Lankan government.

Actually the things should have been achieved by us still remains unachieved. We confine the lessons to be learned with “from the mistakes committed by LTTE”. But it should be corrected that “from the mistakes committed in the Eelam Liberation Struggle”.

In present there is no LTTE’s authority over the Tamil society. While the victimized generation is experiencing the scars of three decades long war, the next generation has stepped up in the Liberal capitalism market culture.

The Works in future will be the children or enemies of this culture.

-Theva Abira-


06 ஆகஸ்ட் 2014 - Comments (0)
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