What Lies Beneath/ Beneath What Lies

Center for Political Education


CPE’s mission is to ground movements in historical knowledge, strong theory, and rigorous analysis. For this second two-color print, I reflected on what arises for me when considering whether and how I am grounded in the knowledge of my own history. I often return to the image and story of the library in Jaffna, where my family is from, and how its rare collection of ancient manuscripts was destroyed in an act of cultural genocide during the decades long war in Sri Lanka. When the library was rebuilt by government sanction and reopened in 2003, many Tamils viewed the reconstruction not as a sign of Tamil resilience, but rather as the erasure of the history of cultural genocide. This piece can be read both upside down and right side up, and poses a question about what really lies beneath the reconstituted histories we are taught and that we see memorialized in our communities.