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Dishan Abrahams

PHD SCHOLAR | SOAS, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON | 2023 – 2025

Dishan Abrahams is a musician and Stuart Hall Foundation CHASE funded PhD student in the Department of Music at SOAS, University of London. As a professional musician with over 25 years of experience, he has performed in stadiums and studios in over 40 countries with many internationally renowned artists, including Kylie Minogue, Ed O’Brien (Radiohead), Liam Payne (One Direction), Westlife, Jess Glynne, and many more.   His PhD research explores the music of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora and the musical-digital communities it cultivates. As a musician of Tamil origin displaced by the Sri Lankan civil war, Dishan focuses on fellow Sri Lankan Tamil music-makers, asking how their music articulates culture, engenders community, and recasts narratives of conflict and displacement as those of agency and belonging. By integrating musical collaborations with digital ethnography, he aims to generate fresh insights into music’s capacity to conceive new communities, challenge senses of territory, and signify new conceptions of home.  Dishan’s MA in Music at SOAS investigated the ways displaced people use music, memory, and the senses to create a home away from homeland by examining his family’s experience of musical engagement and forced migration. He also studied Jazz Performance at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia.