The AISLS center in Colombo held three workshops in 2013.
“Sinhala Light-Classical Song, Sociopolitical Change, and Sinhala Literary Culture in 20th Century Sri Lanka,” convened by Garrett Field, Colombo, August 2013. This Sinhala-language workshop comprised two panels with papers, each followed by a round table discussion. Participants included scholars from the University of Colombo, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, University of Kelaniya, University of the Visual and Performing Arts, and independent scholars who have written extensively on the relationship between Sinhala music, politics, and literature.
“War and Peace: Visual Narratives from Contemporary Sri Lanka,” convened by Sujatha Meegama. This workshop, co-sponsored by Nanyang Technological University, brought together nine scholars from four countries and diverse disciplines for academic presentations to examine artistic responses to the various conflicts circa 1980-2009. Held in conjunction with an exhibition of contemporary art at the Lionel Wendt Art Center, the workshop addressed how visual images give access to unheard voices about the past decades of violence as well as about reconciliation and rebuilding. For more information, see the workshop Facebook page.
“Up-Country Tamils in the Twenty-First Century Century,” convened by Daniel Bass, Kandy, May 2013. The workshop brought together fifteen participants from three Sri Lankan universities and from the United States and United Kingdom. The first session began with a discussion of various community names, including Up-country Tamil, Plantation Tamil, Indian Tamil and Indian Origin Tamil. Participants analyzed the situational nature of these identifications, the ways that they have changed over time, and how they interplay with class, gender and caste. During the second session, participants examined citizenship, and the various ways that Up-country Tamils are not fully equal citizens of Sri Lanka. The final session concerned the many ways that one is Sri Lankan, from national identity cards to cricket team support to senses of belonging.
Christopher NeubertDaniel Bass Deborah Winslow