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"A symbol of endless hope" - young Tamil artists pay tribute to Maaveerar

In the run up to Maaveerar Naal, young Tamil artists took to Instagram to commemorate the thousands who gave their lives fighting in the Tamil struggle.

Using the hashtag #MaaveerarNaalArtistsMovement, young Tamils from around the diaspora published art inspired by Maaveerar Naal. Tamil Guardian spoke to some of the artists about what their work meant to them.

"A hero is someone who has given his or her life for something bigger than themselves." - J. Campbell

It doesn't matter if the Maveerar were born as girls or as boys; if they were Hindu, Christian or Muslim; if they were old or young; from a higher caste or a lower caste. The only thing that mattered to them is hope. A little spark of hope; but still so convincing that they sacrificed their own future hoping that their action could better the future of thousands of other human beings. This spark of hope lit a blazing fire in their hearts, a fire so powerful that they forgot their own needs and their own future.

We shall never let that fire go out.

For me the Karthikai Poo is a symbol of this sacrifice, a symbol of eternal fire and a symbol of endless hope.

Artist: @saygi

"The death of a freedom fighter is no ordinary event. That death is a historical event. It is a special event, in which a noble vision comes to life. In fact, a freedom fighter never dies. That visionary fire that was his life never goes out. That fire becomes a historical force and seizes others. It stirs up the national spirit of a people."

These words of Velupillai Prabhakaran inspire @_sinblackartist who created the hashtag "to launch a solid outpouring of solidarity."

I am a Tamil from Pondichery that has grown up in France. I have many Eelam Tamil friends and I just wanted to know about their story and that’s when I knew about the fighters and the conflict. Doing research for this project, I found a photo that touched me a lot so I drew it. The picture was so noble and simple. I just felt the emotions of an entire nation in that man in front of the fire. I just loved that picture and I wanted to give my contribution to this community and those fighters.

Artist: @instavassou

Everyone, every country, every religion, every culture has their own special days. For us proud Tamils, the 27th of November is a day which we never forget.

The Maaveerar fought for our freedom, for our homeland, for our humanity, for us. They gave their lives for us. We cannot forget them or erase them from our hearts.

This picture makes me think about every fighter who didn't care about his or her life, who left their family, just for us. Even if they aren't alive, we will always remember them as our heroes!

Artist: @saruu.s

Many Tamil women took up arms to fight alongside men and defend our rights. That is why I chose to illustrate a female cadre, to represent their courage and their determination, as well as to serve as a reminder of the thousands of women who fought and gave their lives so that we could live ours.

Artist: @ashmkd__

Artist: @_vinija

When I look at this picture I see the thousands of people who sacrificed their lives. The drawing has special meaning to me as it is a reminder of all the Maaveerar who fought for freedom and died so that the Tamil people could live.

Artist: @schaya_artist

Cover art by Sinblack