On Sunila Abeysekera

Note from Curator: This is an entry cross-posted from my blog. I last saw Sunila alive when she accompanied Subha, her daughter, to a panel discussion on how we see our past. Subha was the moderator. When the Ceylon Today asked me to write a short piece after her death, the memory of her at Park Street Mews – with soft pillow in hand, resting on a row of seats, eyes closed yet listening keenly to the session was very fresh in my mind. That she came was a complete surprise but I am so glad she did, and moreover, …

Presentation: Bradman Weerakoon on Black July

Deshamanya Bradman Weerakoon was invited to join Dr. Devanesan Nesiah in the first or four panel discussion held at the venue of the exhibition, on 24th August 2013. As Sri Lanka’s first Commissioner General of Essential Services (CGES) Mr. Weerakoon has unique perspectives to share around the violence in July, its aftermath and lasting impact. More details of the panel discussion, along with a recording of the session, can be accessed here. M. Weerakoon’s Powerpoint presentation on Black July can be downloaded as a PDF here.

Recording: Media matters

30 Years Ago exhibition, 25th August, 4pm – 5pm Media matters How did the media cover 1983, and why is it so difficult to find archival material on this coverage? How can and should media reflect on Black July 30 years since, in light of more contemporary events and politics? How can acts of journalism help record the moment for posterity, even by those who are involved in the violence as victim or perpetrator? Are there lessons for journalism and media from the violence of ’83? Featuring Dilrukshi Handunetti, Nalaka Gunawardene and Feizal Samath Moderated by Sanjana Hattotuwa

Recording: Frames

Recording of live panel discussion at 30 Years Ago exhibition, 30 Years Ago exhibition, 25th August, 10am – 11am Frames How do we see our past, and thereby choose to learn from or repeat that which gave rise to violence? In framing histories, what are the politics of selection and exclusion? In a country where the single story often wins out against multiple truths, in looking back at the past, how do we capture the marginal, the violently erased, the inconvenient? How do we, in other words, frame our past to understand our present, and shape our future? The four …

Recording: Art and Memorialising

Recording of live panel discussion at 30 Years Ago exhibition, 30 Years Ago exhibition, 24th August, 4pm – 5pm Art and Memorialising How has art in Sri Lanka since ’83 struggled with the politics of remembrance – the depiction of inconvenient truths, recalling and critiquing that which mainstream politics seeks to forget and erase? What role can and does art in general play in memorialising violent events, and how has this played out in our country? More generally, what is the role of art in interrogating a violent past? What comparable examples are there of art in other regions and …

Recording: Reflections of ’83

Recording of live panel discussion at 30 Years Ago exhibition, 24th August, 10am – 11am Reflections of ’83: Plus ça change? As Sri Lanka’s first Commissioner General of Essential Services (CGES) Mr. Weerakoon has unique perspectives to share around the violence in July, its aftermath and lasting impact. Dr. Nesiah was a public servant for over 35 years. As Government Agent (GA) and District Secretary (DS) of Jaffna, he was involved with the care of around 60,000 victims who moved into Jaffna in the days and weeks following the pogrom. Featuring Deshamanya Bradman Weerakoon and Dr. Devanesan Nesiah Moderated by …

Scanned images: Black July newspaper coverage

As part of the 30 Years Ago exhibition, a small selection of Tamil, Sinhala and English newspapers from the time of the pogrom, sourced from the National Archives, were scanned in very high resolution, digitally printed and displayed. These digital scans were the first time newspapers from July 1983, with varying degrees of coverage on the pogrom, was made available on the web.

Anushka Wijesinha

Anushka Wijesinha is an economist and hobbyist photographer, who is passionate about engaging the public on economic development issues through photography. He wishes he could spend less time in an office in Colombo and more time travelling around Sri Lanka, with his camera for company. Anushka Wijesinha was commissioned by The Picture Press for this project.

Shafraz Farook

Shafraz Farook is a freelance print design consultant and amateur photographer. He has worked across the fields of financial journalism, public relations, advertising, corporate communications and tourism development. Currently he is working on a book about the transformation of his hometown in Hulfsdorp and its surrounding area. Shafraz Farook was commissioned by The Picture Press for this project.

Dinouk Colombage

Dinouk Colombage is a freelance journalist for Ceylon Today and a contributing writer for The Huffington Post. He previously wrote for the Sunday Leader and is a passionate civil rights activist in Sri Lanka. Dinouk Colombage was commissioned by The Picture Press for this project.

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