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Myseum Intersections 2021: Images of Resistance (Exhibit Launch Event)

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A launch event for the year's "Images of Resistance" exhibit. The panel reflects on the historic 2008-09 Tamil demonstrations.

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Images of Resistance: An Archive of Action Launch Event

Join us for the Images of Resistance: An Archive of Action launch event. This event will be a panel discussion reflecting on the 2008-2009 intergenerational demonstrations that mobilized Toronto's Tamil community; a scale of which Toronto had never seen before or since.

The discussion will draw a through line from the past to the present, exploring how this moment in time impacted the community and has lead to this year's physical installation at the Fort York Visitor's Centre, as well as an online exhibition and events.

Panelists/Presenters

Neethan Shan is currently Executive Director of Urban Alliance on Race Relations, is a former Toronto City Councillor and Toronto District School Board Trustee for Scarborough—Rouge River. From 2006-2010 he was also elected as a York Region District School Board Trustee. Neethan Shan began his career as a Youth Outreach Worker in Malvern. Neethan went on to become a manager for youth programs in Malvern, where he developed and implemented over twenty programs in many different schools. He has served as a Math and Science teacher, a youth outreach worker, college professor, and is the former Executive Director of CanTYD and of the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians. Neethan’s extensive involvement in the social services sector also includes work with Parent Action on Drugs, Malvern Community Coalition, Community Use of Schools Council, and Scarborough Youth Task Force, just to name a few organizations. Neethan Shan has a distinguished human rights advocacy record, receiving many awards including the Race Relations Award from the Urban Alliance for Race Relations and the Vital People Award from the Toronto Community Foundation. As a Toronto City Councillor, Neethan was Toronto’s Youth Equity Champion and Newcomer Advocate.

Angela Regnier was the Executive Director of the University of Toronto Students’ Union from 2008-2011 and at the time of the mass Tamil demonstrations in 2009. She spent over a decade involved in student organizing and international solidarity across Canada. She currently works in the labour movement organizing health care workers in Alberta. Angela is currently the Past-President of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women.

Carolyn Egan is president of the United Steelworkers Toronto Area Council and on the executive board of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council. She is Co-Chair of the Good Jobs for All Coalition and has worked for many years in the women's movement in this city.

Hiba Abdallah is an artist and organizer who frequently works with others. Her practice explores locality, civic resilience and political structures as tools for fostering collaborative agency. She received her BFA from the University of Windsor in 2012 and her MFA from the University of Guelph in 2017. She currently lives and works in Toronto, Ontario.

Gana Arumugam also known by his photographer name Ninaivukal ,is a Tamil word that means “ Memories.” Ninaivukal started as an online web portal medium in 2008 to document the lifestyle and expression of Tamils in Greater Toronto Area. The Unity of the Tamil Community and their determination to stand for their political views are some of the key moments captured by Ninaivukal. Ninaivukal Magazine publications came to reality in 2011 as an annual publication. We capture any moments as large as gatherings at Rogers Centre to open ground events. For almost a decade, Ninaivukal has become an integral part of the Tamil Community in the GTA.

Rajeevan Sathiyaseelan, better known by his stage name Tha Prophecy (Born October 6th 1988) is a Canadian recording artist, rapper, songwriter, percussionist and music producer. He was born in Jaffna, Sri Lanka to the musical family of singer and music composer Senthooran Alagia and grandson of stage performer and percussionist A.K Alagia.

Tha Prophecy first gained international exposure with the release of his first single “I Have a Dream” (2009) which quickly earned him respect among critics as a great lyricist and a passionate artist with powerful delivery. With the success of his first single he later went on to co found one of the most recognized and respected independent record labels in Toronto (Freedom Recordz Entertainment) which later split in 2011 due to creative differences. Tha Prophecy continued to make progress and positive changes with his music amongst his community and peers by releasing songs that touched upon sensitive topics that inspired youth around the world. “Dear Momma”(2010) was a song written by Tha Prophecy dedicated to single mothers around the world struggling to provide in today’s society. “The Final Chapter”(2010) was another notable song written by Tha Prophecy which was released to raise awareness about global warming and won the best music video award at the CTYA film festival (2011). His dedication and work ethics also won him the award for best Urban Music at the top talents awards Gala in (2010).

In 2012 Tha Prophecy made headlines by collaborating with Indian film score, soundtrack composer and singer Yuvan Shankar Raja for rapping the theme song for the motion picture Aadhi baghavan directed by Ameer Sultan.

Priyanth is an Eelam Tamil who actively participated in 2009 protests and a former spokesperson of TYO-Canada, Priyanth completed his public policy degree at Ryerson university to understand the role of Canadian public policy in relation to international politics. During his years in university, Priyanth overhauled the constitution and logo of york university Tamil student association to better serve the Political aspiration of Eelam Tamils and was also the Vice President of finance and services at Continuing education students association at Ryerson. Priyanth also volunteered with lifeline Syria during the Syrian refugee crisis helping with the settlement of Syrian refugees in Canada. He has worked with all three major canadian political parties and was a councillor candidate for the 2017 Toronto city council elections in Toronto.

Over a decade of Tamil political activism and passion for public policy led Priyanth to choose the field of Canadian immigration. Recognizing the barriers faced by immigrants and the lack of awareness when it came to canadian immigration, Priyanth actively educates people on all platforms regarding canadian immigration and promoting safer pathways to Canada.

He currently manages Alpha Abroad canadian immigration services, an immigration firm focused on simplifying canadian immigration for people around the world.

Vel Velauthapillai is on the Board of Directors at the Tamil Genocide Memorial . Vel is a community activist and as held different roles at several Tamil community organizations and Canadian political parties.

Images of Resistance: An Archive of Action Exhibition

Images of Resistance: An Archive of Action is an exhibition and installation that brings together interviews, documents, photographs, video footage and untold stories of the 2008-2009 Toronto human rights protests against the Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka.

Mobilized by members of the Tamil Canadian community, these demonstrations brought together tens of thousands of protesters during the months of September 2008 to June 2009, culminating notably in the Gardiner Expressway blockade.

This project is organized by the Tamil Canadian Centre for Civic Action in collaboration with Neethan Shan, Thevya Balendran and Hiba Abdallah

Community exhibit facilitation provided by Hiba Abdallah.

Photo credit: Ninaivukal

Project Team

Tamil Canadian Centre for Civic Action’s mission is to work towards the success of all Tamil Canadians in the social, political, economic and cultural spheres of Canada through education, documentation, engagement, training, mobilization, research, policy change and collaboration.

Neethan Shan, currently Executive Director of Urban Alliance on Race Relations, is a former Toronto City Councillor and Toronto District School Board Trustee for Scarborough—Rouge River. From 2006-2010 he was also elected as a York Region District School Board Trustee. Neethan Shan began his career as a Youth Outreach Worker in Malvern. Neethan went on to become a manager for youth programs in Malvern, where he developed and implemented over twenty programs in many different schools. He has served as a Math and Science teacher, a youth outreach worker, college professor, and is the former Executive Director of CanTYD and of the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians. Neethan’s extensive involvement in the social services sector also includes work with Parent Action on Drugs, Malvern Community Coalition, Community Use of Schools Council, and Scarborough Youth Task Force, just to name a few organizations. Neethan Shan has a distinguished human rights advocacy record, receiving many awards including the Race Relations Award from the Urban Alliance for Race Relations and the Vital People Award from the Toronto Community Foundation. As a Toronto City Councillor, Neethan was Toronto’s Youth Equity Champion and Newcomer Advocate.

Ninaivukal is a Tamil word that means “ Memories.” Ninaivukal started as an online web portal medium in 2008 to document the lifestyle and expression of Tamils in Greater Toronto Area. The Unity of the Tamil Community and their determination to stand for their political views are some of the key moments captured by Ninaivukal. Ninaivukal Magazine publications came to reality in 2011 as an annual publication. We capture any moments as large as gatherings at Rogers Centre to open ground events. For almost a decade, Ninaivukal has become an integral part of the Tamil Community in the GTA.

Thevya Balendran is an Eelam Tamil activist and organizer. Presently, she works as a Project Coordinator at Tamil Canadian Centre for Civic Action and Urban Alliance on Race Relations. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Politics from Ryerson University. She volunteers as a Workshop Facilitator with People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) and organized the Photo Exhibit on the Tamil Genocide in Toronto. Her interest lies in exploring stories of resistance, and the narratives and lived experiences of refugees, marginalized and racialized communities.

Hiba Abdallah is an artist and organizer who frequently works with others. Her practice explores locality, civic resilience and political structures as tools for fostering collaborative agency. She received her BFA from the University of Windsor in 2012 and her MFA from the University of Guelph in 2017. She currently lives and works in Toronto, Ontario.

Event Accessibility

  • Registration accessibility: Should you need any help registering/accessing registration through Eventbrite please contact us at info@myseumoftoronto.com.
  • Live Captioning will be provided.
  • For accommodations such as ASL interpretation, please contact Festival & Programming Coordinator, Sarah Tumaliuan by email saraht@myseumoftoronto.com by April 5th and we will do our best to meet all requests.
  • If you have any additional requirements or accommodations, please let us know upon registration checkout or by emailing info@myseumoftoronto.com and we will do our best to accommodate.

About Myseum Intersections

Myseum Intersections is an annual city-wide arts and culture festival that explores Toronto through intersectional perspectives. This year’s festival taking place April - June, 2021 adopts a new hybrid model, balancing socially distanced physical exhibits with virtual exhibits, events, and experiences.

Learn more at:

http://www.myseumoftoronto.com/exhibition/myseum-intersections-2021/

About Myseum of Toronto

Myseum is your Toronto museum. Our engaging programs and experiences showcase the history, spaces, culture(s), architecture, and the people, that represent Toronto’s unique place in the world.

Please Note

  • We will email you the Zoom link for this event 24-48 hours in advance of the event.
  • In case of changes or cancellation we will do our best to notify you in advance via email.
  • This webinar will be recorded.


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