Amma's Alamari is an archive of the sarees that sit in my mother's wardrobe, and the stories that come along with these works of art.
My mother moved to Canada in 1995. Newly married, she had no real sense of what living in another country would be like, other than from the stories my father told her. Having only brought a single suitcase with her, she held onto her Tamil-Sri Lankan identity with a few things: recipes, cultural norms, and her sarees. Amma's Alamari pays homage to part of my Tamil-Sri Lankan heritage. Though for most of my life, I have shied away from being Tamil, I’ve grown up to be very curious of this part of my identity. Toronto is home to one of the largest diasporic groups of Tamil-Sri Lankans, and I am proud to be a part of it. This archive of my mother’s alamari is not only a documentation of beautiful silk; it aims to expose the nuances of being part of the diaspora, through the story my mother tells with her sarees.