EU National Institutes for Culture - EUNIC

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka
Colomboscope - On Language and Multitudinal Belonging
The Walking Island by Danish artist Søren Dahlgaard is a public happening inviting participants to encounter and engage with his artistic project: an inflatable island along the beach. The performative action includes collective movements with the sculpture to bring attention to marine ecology that surrounds us. Colomboscope Sea Change, Interdisciplinary Arts Festival, 2019
© Sanjaya Mendis
Three-day residential workshop for visual artists and contemporary cultural practitioners in the Gampola area from 19-21 October, 2019. EUNIC Sri Lanka, the EU Delegation in Colombo and Fold Media Collective are teaming up for the project “On Language and Multitudinal Belonging”, which consists of preliminary activities leading up to the next Colomboscope edition "Language is Migrant" in 2021.
© Colomboscope Team

The lead-up to the next Colomboscope festival, including professional development workshops, mentoring circles, and in-tandem residencies across four regions in Sri Lanka.

Across Sri Lanka, artists face a constant struggle to maintain a professional livelihood in the cultural sector due to lack of public funding, accessible arts libraries and open-source archives. The festival Colomboscope offers opportunities for creative producers to have a horizontal exchange on creative questions as well as topics of socio-political urgency.

The theme for the next edition of the Colomboscope festival is 'Language is Migrant'. Organised by Fold Media Collective - a local team of creative producers, designers and curators - initiatives in the lead-up to the festival include professional development workshops, mentoring circles, and in-tandem residencies across four regions in Sri Lanka. Bringing together contemporary cultural practices that investigate local and global phenomena, works being produced during the project range from film, installation, creative publishing and performance poetry. Local audiences can see the developments of the artworks through regional open studios, and they will also feature in Colomboscope 2021.

Colomboscope during Covid-19

The project team launched a series of small online art projects under #HeldApartTogether and #EssentialServices on Facebook and Instagram.

The series features previews of works of 5 local and 3 international artists that are part of the Colomboscope festival, alongside small personal accounts of how they are affected, influenced and inspired by the lockdown reality.

Jury selection

The jury was of the opinion that the project offers an innovative way of combining cultural disciplines in order to promote values of freedom and cohesion and was convinced of the clear project delivery plan as well as the elaborated relevance to the local context. The project is based on local needs and experience, is co-developed and co-owned by partners with clear goals to reaching out to a number of smaller local partners and is built on active and inclusive roles of all the partners. Even though the project is based on an existing festival, the selection committee saw ample potential of creating new partnerships and reaching out to new and vulnerable audiences. The committee considered the project as a potentially strong model to use culture as means for promoting freedom and understanding.

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