DsporA to DiasporA

Part 1

Background history

Activities and events are the sources for stories. The stories of present days are the history of the future. The story of this website started in 2017 as a journey to find out the migration history of the diaspora Tamils in Norway. The website was first opened as a Facebook page, “Archive of Tamils in Norway”. It was opened on 23rd April 2020. It was meant to be a platform to gather or get familiar with archival publications by Tamils in Norway. As well as to gather historical facts about Tamil education services in this country. Soon a primary need of raising awareness about documentation and archive was identified. The Facebook page changed its name to “DsporA Tamil Archive” on 07th July 2020.

DsporA to DiasporA

DsporA Tamil Archive changes its name to DiasporA Tamil Archives (DTA). The phenomenon of diaspora was the original thought for the choice of the name “DsporA”. Due to the unavailability of a web domain, the website was launched at www.dspora.no on 22nd July 2020. Thereby DsporA became the name of this platform. 

In April 2021 DsporA Tamil Archive identified a challenge of unusually spelt “diaspora”. Thus, users can find it hard to locate the website on search engines. As a process of resolving this challenge, the website is in progress to move to a new domain, www.diasporatamil.no. However, the challenge led to enriching and elaborative educational research on English, Tamil and Norwegian words related to documentation. It also paved a path to identify a Tamil name for “DiasporA Tamil Archives”. As well as an insight into the phenomenon of diaspora, ancient Tamil maritime trade and numismatics. We are pleased to share with you what we learned on this journey.

DTA is a platform to raise an archival awareness of preservation, transmission and dissemination of Tamil cultural heritage. It is a resource centre for everyone who is interested and involved in the field of documentation and preservation of Tamil heritage. In addition, this platform is a community and participatory archive[1].

This platform encourages collaborations across Tamil community-based preservation movements conducted by individuals, groups and organisations, as well as the Tamil community and participatory repositories (Tamil archives, libraries and museums). Thus, collaborations will create a network of resources that will protect and celebrate Tamil heritage including diaspora Tamil heritage.

This article will be posted in series to tell the story of the evolution of «DsporA to DiasporA”. The story will be told by explaining the historical and literary background of Tamil documentation culture.

Next part: Phenomenon of diaspora


Footnote

[1] Community archives are a community-based initiative that involves participatory approaches to document, record and preserves the stories and history that matters and represents a particular interest, belief, group of people, community, ethnicity. Community-based libraries and museums are included in the term “community archive”. They can meet a diverse range of needs of society. Host underrepresented or unrepresented stories. They can tell counter-narratives of marginalized voices. Community archives bridge mainstream and the outside by adapting untraditional approaches in archival practices. They will have a shared power structure and will be community-controlled platforms.

Bibliography

Community Archives Community Spaces: heritage, memory and identity. (2020). (J. A. Bastian & A. Flinn, Eds.). Facet Publishing.
Participatory Archives: theory and practice. (2019). (I. Benoit, Edward & A. Eveleigh, Eds.). Facet Publishing.
Participatory Heritage. (2017). (H. Roued-Cunliffe & A. Copeland, Eds.). Facet  Publishing.


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