SOAS University of London

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

The Vanni. A Multimedia Graphic Novel on Asylum and Migration

Benjamin Dix

Date: 16 January 2013Time: 5:30 PM

Finishes: 16 January 2013Time: 7:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G51

Type of Event: Seminar


The Vanni is a multimedia, graphic novel that focuses on one Tamil family’s struggle through the Sri Lankan war between the Government and the Tamil Tigers in 2009 and the rippling effects of that violence to the present day. The narrative is built from first-hand testimonies of survivors of the conflict who now find themselves as refugees and asylum seekers spread across Europe and Southern India. The testimonies, adapted into a narrative, are lived out by a fictional, but representative, Tamil family from Vanni in north Sri Lanka. The story is told from the perspective of the husband, Antoni, in London as an asylum seeker, reflecting back on his life in Sri Lanka through conversations with his asylum lawyer and with his wife in India, via Skype. The online book is embedded with photographs and film clips taken on the ground through the conflict, mostly by the author who was working for the UN in the area. Websites and references are also embedded behind the illustrations to encourage further reading of the many issues raised, such as: conflict, terrorism, forced migration and asylum.

Organiser: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

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