Nayani Thiyagarajah is an up and coming filmmaker of important documentaries such as Shadeism – a must watch short film that explores the issue of skin colour and discrimination within the African, Caribbean, and South Asian diasporas.

The Ryerson University graduate is also an organizer and participant of T – DOT Renaissance – a Toronto event that found its inspiration “by memories and stories of the Harlem Renaissance, a time when African American artists were exploring, engaging, and collaborating to create a space they could define as their own artistic identity.”

“my name is nayani thiyagarajah. i am a storyteller. i use my body as a vessel to weave across disciplines, as i create, develop, document, and share stories.

as a womyn of colour and daughter of the Tamil-Sri Lankan diaspora, i first gives thanks to the ancestors and elders who came before us, building the foundations on which we continue to work for and with each other.

i am a writer, performer and filmmaker. the focus of my work involves utilizing film, theatre, and writing, as tools to document and share stories. i’ve been working through video for 6 years, performing for 10, and writing since i learned that my stories could be saved to page (finger paints and crayons included).

my artistic philosophy focuses on supporting womyn of colour, including myself, in telling our own narratives and sharing our own creative content, recognizing that we’ve experienced too many silences. i believe that we must continue carving libratory spaces for ourselves to create and innovative platforms for us to share our works. in this lifetime, i hope to keep building across individual and collective borders. i seek to continue working with creative mediums and connecting peoples through shared visions.

i believe in love and continuous learning. ‘forward ever, backward never.’

Shadeism and other documentaries can be found on our documentary page.

(via Nayani Thiyagarajah)

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