I have carefully chosen the subject which I wanted to focus through photos with narratives, while giving ethnic and gender balance to strengthen the stories. I have met the only surviving senior most female member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a senior Tamil woman, a Sinhala journalist cum activist and a Sinhala artist for the project “30 Years Ago”. Their memories are framed forever.
The only surviving senior most woman ex combatant has spoken to a journalist for the first time after the end of the war. She clearly and strongly recalls her memories, and the sole decision made by her to be a freedom fighter.
A senior Tamil woman who has witnessed numerous incidents during “Black July”, lost and suffered of being a Tamil in Sri Lanka. She has extensively shared her memories of loss, displacement, relocation and recovery.
A Sinhala journalist cum activist who also has witnessed the violence in July 1983, and has readily helped a pregnant Tamil woman while taking enormous amounts of risks, and hardships during their journey together until he has brought her home safely. He has spoken aloud about what he has witnessed in July 1983.
Out of the above four people I have met to speak and photograph, it was extraordinarily challenging to do the story of the senior most woman ex combatant. Because I had to travel through checkpoints, sentry points, and bypass the men in plain clothes! I had to be exceptionally careful with the exclusive journalistic materials in my hands. It was the most difficult part in completing my assignment. I steadily and strongly feel it’s a risk worth taking!