News and Events

News and Events

Mapping Riots: 1883-2019

Article by Lara Wijesuriya. What makes a riot? The dictionary definition is ‘a violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd’[1]. These crowds are usually spontaneously gathered, usually have something in common which becomes the foundation of their riot, and are not organized. For this exhibition, we have included riots which were

Youth Perspectives from Seasonal Migrant and Host Fishing Villages in Sri Lanka

Header image: Migratory beach seine fishers, Trincomalee district by Nireka Weeratunge Curated by Mathavan Maheswaran and Nadine Vanniasinkam.  . . Internal seasonal coast to coast migration for fishing during the south-west monsoon (April –September) is an annual occurrence and a way of life for migrant and host fishing communities primarily on the

Work at Your Own Risk

By Nadya Perera. . . WORK AT YOUR OWN RISK is a documentary exploring the complex realities of women workers belonging to the informal economy, in and around Colombo. Although, agency work and forms of temporary employment like fixed-term contracts are commonly associated with informal work arrangements, employers (both in public and

பொக்கிஷங்களின் பெட்டி

Artist: Kitty Ritig “வீடு” ஒருபோதும் வெரும் ஓர்  ஆக்கக் கூற்றாக இருந்ததில்லை. முன்பை விட, இப்போது வீடு ஒரு உறுதியான ஆதாயத்திற்கும் மேலானது என்ற விழிப்புணர்வும் ஏற்றுக்கொள்ளலும் வெளிச்சத்திற்கு வந்து கொண்டிருக்கின்றது… ஒரு நேரத்தில், “வீட்டிலேயே உணரவும்” என்ற வழக்கமான நிஜ வாழ்க்கை பதிப்பை  உலகம் தீர்மானித்தபோது, வழக்கத்திற்கு மாறான, அறிமுகமில்லாத வீடுகளின் மீது சந்தேகம் கொள்வது வழக்கமற்றது அல்ல, உதாரணமாக, மெய்நிகர் (virtual feel-at-homes) “உணர்-வீடுகள்”.  ஆனால் இந்த ஈடுபாடு

සැනසුම් නිධානය

නිර්මාණය: කිටී රිටිග් නිවහන භෞතික ලෝකයේ පවතින්නක් පමණක් නොව ඒ මිනිස් සිතිවිලි වලින් ගොඩ නැගුණු ලෝකයෙහි ද පවතින්නකි. නූතනයේ ඒ අදහස මනාවට පසක් වෙමින් පවතී. එහෙයින් විය යුත්තේ පුද්ගලයෙකු තමන් හට ඇති සීමිත දෙයින් පවා නිවහනක්, සැනසීමක් සොයා ගැනීමයි. එය සොයා යන ගමනේදී  සමාජීයව හමුවන තැන් වල විවිධත්වය, හුදු අතපසු වීම් හෝ අඩුපාඩු


அமலினி தி செய்ரா, ஒலிவர் ஃபிரெயட்மன், நடாஷா வான்-ஹொஃவ் ஆகியோரால் தயாரிக்கப்பட்டது. தொடர்புகளை ஏற்படுத்துவதில் ஒத்துழைப்பு வழங்கிய பானம்பட்டு கிராமத்தை பாதுகாப்பதற்கான அமைப்பு, பெருந்தோட்டத் துறையை அபிவிருத்தி செய்வதற்கான நிறுவகம் – மஸ்கெலியா (SIDPS), தேசிய மீனவர் ஒத்துழைப்பு அமைப்பு – யாழ்ப்பாணம் (NAFSO), முஸ்லிம் பெண்கள் அபிவிருத்தி நிதியம் (MWDF) ஆகிய அமைப்புகளுக்கும் எழுத்துருவில் அமைந்த விடயங்களையும் துணைத் தலைப்புகளையும் (subtitles) மொழிபெயர்த்த ஏ. சாம் போல், தவராசா ஜனந்தன் ஆகியோருக்கும்


නිෂ්පාදනය : අමලිනි ද සේරා, ඔලිවර් ෆ්‍රීඩ්මන් සහ නටාෂා වැන් හොෆ්. මෙම සබඳතා ඇතිකර ගැනීමට සහය දැක්වූ පානම්පත්තු සුරකීමේ සංවිධානය, වැවිලි කර්මාන්ත ප්‍රවර්ධන සමාජ ආයතනය (SIDPS) – මස්කෙළිය, ජාතික ධීවර සහයෝගීතා ව්‍යාපාරය (NAFSO) – යාපනය, මුස්ලිම් කාන්තා සංවර්ධන අරමුදල (MWDF) යන ආයතන මෙන්ම උපශීර්ෂ සහ අනෙකුත ලේඛන පරිවර්තනයට සහය දැක්වූ A. සෑම්


Produced by Amalini De Sayrah, Oliver Friedmann and Natasha Van-Hoff. This exhibit was supported by Historical, an initiative of the programme Strengthening Reconciliation Processes in Sri Lanka (SRP). SRP is co-financed by the European Union and the German Federal Foreign Office and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the

Colombo 2020: Wonder of Asia

By artist Abdul Halik Azeez. This exhibit was supported by Historical, an initiative of the programme Strengthening Reconciliation Processes in Sri Lanka (SRP). SRP is co-financed by the European Union and the German Federal Foreign Office and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the British Council. This exhibit was

HERstory, HIStory, OURstory

These six webinars explored the challenges that we face in learning about and engaging with the past in multi-religious, multi-ethnic contexts. The webinar series was presented in collaboration with the Rosa Luxembourg Stiftung. Click here to watch all the webinars.

Tale of Two Masjids

A beginner’s guide to Islamic Architecture in Serendib Like all tales – meaning stories inevitably personalized in their telling – this one too has to start with a backstory: It goes back to the memory of myself standing, at the age of nineteen, in front of the Taj Mahal stunned into silence

Conflict, Confluence, and Continuity

Tracing the lineage of religious architecture in Kandy The year is 1825. The second Bishop of Calcutta, Rt. Rev. Reginald Heber is visiting Kandy, the hill capital of British Ceylon, accompanied by Governor Edward Barnes for a Confirmation Service. The event takes place at the Royal Audience Hall besides the Temple of

Temple as Museum; Religion as Art

Exploring the Tivanka Image House in Polonnaruwa The serenity of the Gal Vihara Buddhas is best experienced at dusk, when the setting sun throws a spirited glow on the gigantic granite statues. By six o’clock, the sunlight is lifted like a curtain and the night settles in the folds of the carvings.

The Greater World: Islands, Oceans and Beyond

The Nestorian Cross I clearly recall the moment I came across the Nestorian Cross of Anuradhapura for the first time. It was one of those museum moments, when one small artefact stands taller than the rest in the crowded collection, and grabs a distracted visitor. At the Archaeological Museum, Anuradhapura, walking past

Box of Treasures

By artist Kitty Ritig. “Home” never has been just a physical space. The awareness and the acceptance of the fact that the home is more than a tangible acquisition is coming to light, now more than ever. At one time, when the world was comfortable and settled on a conventional, real-life version

Rising Voices

Directed by: Natalie Soysa with Strinner Macklain Adams Rising Voices is a documentary film in English, Sinhala and Tamil that explores the personal stories of a number of women who experienced the war and its aftermath, and how they manage various sociocultural and economic issues at various levels. This work was carried

Recurrence 2020

On 6th –9th January, 2020, International Centre for Ethnic Studies presented Recurrence: A conversation among six artists at the Lionel Wendt Gallery Colombo, Sri Lanka featuring Abdul Halik Azeez, Hanusha Somasundaram, Nilani Joseph, with Thamotharampillai Sanathanan, Chandraguptha Thenuwara & Jagath Weerasinghe Six artists speak to each other, and all of us, exploring

Island of Encounters

Article by Hasini Haputhanthri. Photographs by Sujeewa de Silva. Wrapped in the blue waves of the Indian Ocean, dangling off a mysterious subcontinent right on to the crossroads of the East and West, Sri Lanka has been since times immemorial a land of rendezvous. Those who found their way here from different

Picturing Coexistence

Learning about the Other through grassroots comics Comics are used as a means of creating a space for individuals to reflect on, articulate and narrate their (sometimes inexpressible) experiences, prejudices or understanding of coexistence and the ‘other’. They are also used to facilitate talking to one another across ethnic, religious and linguistic


The connection between the arts and social change is not a new one. For centuries, artists have used protest songs, visual arts and theatre to stoke activism and create awareness on oppression and issues of social inequality in society. Such music is a radical and critical form of contemporary mass culture which

On the Mirror of the Other

‘On the Mirror of the Other’ is the short film series which explores inter-religious relations in Sri Lanka. The films are part of an initiative to address the conflicts between religious communities which manifested in post-war Sri Lanka. The short films, scripted and directed by amateur film-makers from Ampara, Galle and Mannar, narrate lived experiences and

Home and Beyond

How do we remember what we have been through? Do all of us remember the same incident, the same way? What would we rather forget? Home and Beyond is an attempt at understanding how differently we remember the same events, depending on where we were and who we were. Home and Beyond

Mother North Rising

By artist Natalie Soysa. Natalie went on to create Mother North Rising, a visual investigation that manifested in a series of photo-essays and documentary film that give voice to the women of the north. She interviewed 10 mothers from Kilinochchi, Mannar, Mullaitivu, Jaffna and Vavuniya, examining their personal stories, juxtaposing them with the

The team watchers

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