Information Communications Technologies (ICTs) are undoubtedly becoming a defining transformation of our time. Through over 80 photographs in 8 features produced for the Groundviews ’30 Years Ago’ project, The Picture Press explores how ICTs have changed Sri Lanka’s current context and how it relates to issues that have, and continue to, influence our society and the nation at large. By combining original photography and well-researched narratives, these features visually narrate the influence of ICTs on individuals and groups at national, regional and local levels across Sri Lanka, presented through various lenses – social integration, safety and security, connectivity and ‘closeness’ to government, empowerment, and economic development.
Three months of research, travel and interviews with individuals and organisations – including unprecedented access to sites and initiatives all over Sri Lanka – have culminated in eight individual features by 7 young photographers. From an internet café owner in Puthukuduyiruppu, to sweet potato farmers in Dambulla, to getting a birth certificate copy in under five minutes to tsunami vulnerable communities on the coast – these features cover unique, interesting, and innovative uses of ICTs and attempt to explore how it has changed, over the last 3 decades, for better or for worse, the way people live and work in Sri Lanka. The features, in a broad sense, resonate with some of the causes and effects of the July 1983 pogrom as well as the economic and social climate of the country at that time. It also questions what role ICTs could play today in preventing or even facilitate in repeating, the mistakes of Sri Lanka’s past.See TPP portfolio here