The objective of Palm Roots is to demonstrate the power of photography and art, especially in the Tamil community where arts are an important part of our history and culture. Palm Roots is a bridge that connects Tamils in Toronto with our roots in Sri Lanka and India – all while investing in the growth of future generations.
The most relatable way is to showcase the impact of art in helping with the development of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka. In addition, by displaying and selling photos shot in Sri Lanka and India, it offers people an opportunity to revisit their childhood through photos, and have a part of it in their homes and workspaces.
There are a few motivations underlying why I wanted to execute this idea and turn it into an annual event. A female photographer – especially before 2012 – was not something that many in the Tamil community were used to seeing. I faced criticism from some who wondered if photography was admirable enough for a Tamil woman to pursue as a career choice considering aspects such as safety, my reputation etc. I felt that some were failing to recognize the worthiness and value of photography.
Now in its 5th year, Palm Roots has taken up the theme of collaboration for an upcoming event in November. This year, Palm Roots will expand from an event into a platform that supports talented photographers across the world through working with many like-minded photographers who are donating photos from Sri Lanka and India. This theme will be brought to life through two aspects – photography and charity.
In addition, the theme of collaboration extends to the charity aspect of the event. I am proud to partner up with Ideal Group – a well-known establishment based in Toronto – to support their project to build a training facility for Miracle Family Care (MFC), a reputable charity based in Toronto that currently manages various projects in the North and East of Sri Lanka. This new training facility will provide English and computer science courses for professional development. MFC’s long term plan is to provide English courses through remote access, and will soon begin accepting graduates interested in participating in this initiative.
An exciting commitment that Ideal Group has made for Palm Roots 2018 is pledging to match-fund the amount raised at the event! Ideal Group has provided continuous support for Palm Roots throughout the years and I'm truly grateful for their encouragement. I’ve always had tremendous support from the Tamil community for Palm Roots and I hope it continues this year as well. Here’s hoping for another successful event and many more projects that focus on strengthening the roots of our community!
Eventbrite link for event: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/palm-roots-2018-tickets-50531455945
Facebook Page for Palm Roots: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectPalmRoots/