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This event is free with first come, first served seating.
Dark tourism—visiting sites of war, violence, and other traumas experienced by others—takes different forms in Hasanthika Sirisena’s stunning excavation of the unexpected places (and ways) in which personal identity and the riptides of history meet. The 1961 plane crash that left a nuclear warhead buried near her North Carolina hometown, juxtaposed with reflections on her father’s stroke. A visit to Jaffna in Sri Lanka—the country of her birth, yet where she is unmistakably a foreigner—to view sites from the recent civil war, already layered over with the narratives of the victors. A fraught memory of her time as a young art student in Chicago that is uneasily foundational to her bisexual, queer identity today. The ways that life-changing impairments following a severe eye injury have shaped her thinking about disability and self-worth.
Hasanthika Sirisena (she/they) is a writer and cartoonist and a faculty member at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of the short story collection The Other One.
Khabaar is a food memoir and personal narrative that braids the global journeys of South Asian food through immigration, migration, and indenture. Focusing on chefs, home cooks, and food stall owners, the book questions what it means to belong and what does belonging in a new place look like in the foods carried over from the old country? These questions are integral to the author’s own immigrant journey to America as a daughter of Indian refugees (from what’s now Bangladesh to India during the 1947 Partition of India); as a woman of color in science; as a woman who left an abusive marriage; and as a woman who keeps her parents’ memory alive through her Bengali food.
Madhushree Ghosh works in oncology diagnostics, and is a social justice activist. Her work has been awarded a Notable Mention in Best American Essays in Food Writing and a Pushcart Prize nomination. She lives in San Diego, California.