‘Where are you from?’ is a series of photographic images on the once identifiable Eurasian presence. It is about an elusive community experiencing a displacement of identity, straddling a divide; in between cultures and on the threshold of erasure, literally in a state of ‘flux’ – their history erased by the march of time and changing realities. The story of the Eurasians is also the story of my family, my search for traces of what’s left of the ‘Planter’ Eurasian community. It is a very personal project, driven by anxiety that soon no one will bear witnesses to this history nor will anyone be left to tell their stories.
Menika van der Poorten has been in the field of photography for over 20 years. She received her photographic education at the John Cass School of Art (now the London Metropolitan University), and The University of Westminster, London. She has taught photography to women, youth, art students and the general public in London and in Sri Lanka. She is also the co-curator of the touring exhibition “A Return to Sri Lanka- Images from British Collections 1640-1900” (a British Library and British Council initiative) currently on display at the National Archives.