This is a book project by artist T. Shanaathanan on the plight of Tamil-speaking citizens who were displaced from their homes during the Sri Lankan civil war. It consists of ground plans drawn by those displaced (with interview notes on reverse), architectural renderings, and dry pastel drawings.

'The Incomplete Thombu poses as a bureaucratic document file. Thombu was a term used by the Dutch to describe a public land registry, derived from the Greek tomos, from which the Latin word tome, or large book originates. The Incomplete Thombu covers the subject of Tamil displacement during the civil conflict in Sri Lanka between 1983 and 2009. Though numerous documents of statistical data have recorded the displacement of civilians from the north and east of Sri Lanka, few have highlighted the personal plights of those involved. This project records the stories that removed civilians from their homes and the memories that they took with them. T. Shanaathanan examines the subject of displacement through a series of drawings that overlay ground plans of houses drawn from memory by displaced Tamil-speaking civilians, with architectʼs renderings and dry pastel drawings. The attempt to register one document on top of the other, maps out further displacements between what is remembered, what has been taken away and the stories left behind in a conflict that has torn apart its land and its people for over thirty years.' — from publisher's website
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MON.SHT6 (Closed Stack)


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Content type

artist monograph

The Incomplete Thombu
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The Incomplete Thombu