Sri Lanka Ancient cultures, new futures  

 

1. Gardens of Renewal and Peace 

12

A call to Australians of Sri Lankan origin, drawn from Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher and other communities, and Australian friends of Sri Lanka, to agree to work together to support a shared process of healing in Sri Lanka. The partnering of localities within Sri Lanka to create gardens intended as havens within which people from all cultural origins and religious faiths can acknowledge and honour the tragic losses associated with the conflict and reflect on shared aspirations for peace and prosperity and a unified, just and harmonious society for all Sri Lankan people.

Download Katankuddy Garden proposal

 

2. Photographic exhibition, to be launched in Melbourne 2014-15 to help fund work in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has been through a tragic period of war and division. Pain and conflict still permeate the land, even during this time of reconstruction and economic renewal. The exhibition is organized around the theme of reconciliation across the boundaries of continuing cultural difference. Rather than focussing on images of war or pictures of post-war reconstruction, the exhibition seeks to show contemporary images of profound ambivalence. These images carry the weight of the past—negative and positive—but they also speak of warm encounters, creative confrontations, and powerful futures.

There will be almost 50 photos. Donated images from Stephen Champion and Domenic Sansoni. And from Paul James and Global Reconciliation’s forays into Sri Lanka, 2012-2013.

The exhibition will be constructed with a view to travel. Canberra Museum is interested in showing it, and we would like to travel through the country and possibly to Sri Lanka.

 

3.  Reconciliation Theatre Project

Networks and relationships are in place in Sri Lanka for Global Reconciliation and members of the Australian Sri Lankan diaspora to partner Sri Lanka projects in the promotion of reconciliation through everyday practices. In planning is the Reconciliation Theatre Project:

Overview of project

A series of interactive performances conducted by local individuals on topics of conflict resolution and religious tolerance. The style of theatre will cross the boundaries of locally engaged and globally supported theatre practice and will include active participation from the actors, audiences and, where appropriate, other community members..

Location

The project will be conducted in three districts: Trincomalee, Polonnaruwa, and Kandy             

Dates and timelines

The program will start in August or September and continue for about 8 months. This will include a two-month script preparation process in Australia and Sri Lanka prior to going into the districts. Workshops and performances will be conducted over one month in each of the three districts. The time in each district will include set up (2-3 days), auditions (2 days), workshop (10 days) and performances (10 days) plus rest days (6 days).

Brief summary of activities

In each of three districts, ten-day workshops will be held that involve about three outside actors and about nine locals. Local people will be taught skills in acting, theatre production, and reconciliation principles. We will use a core script (key themes of which have already been identified) that is modified in sections through negotiation with local and on-going participants. Three or four trained actors will be part of the on-going entourage and will participate in all productions as training assistants and production and acting participants, with a view to ensuring training of future trainers. Performances will be undertaken at local schools and/or social areas in the respective districts. There will be a 10 day workshop and 10 performances in each district. That will be a total of at least 30 local participants (probably many more) in the overall program, including actors, musicians and production assistants. Some participants from one district may be invited to continue their engagement in another district. Following the conclusion of the project a workshop will be held which will be open to all participants to review the outcomes and suggest further activities for the future.