Ancient cultures, new futures: a photographic exhibition

28 September 2014

Raglan Street Gallery, 14 Raglan Street, North Melbourne
9th October – 25th October 12 – 5pm Wed – Sunday
Opening Night Drinks: 7pm Thursday 9th October

Sri Lanka has passed through one of the most tragic periods of war and division in its long history. Despite undoubted progress with economic reconstruction, the painful memories and the reality of continuing conflict remain everyday realities.

This exhibition seeks to contribute to the much-needed process of healing by supporting dialogue and reconciliation across the boundaries of continuing difference. Rather than focusing on the familiar images of war, destruction and personal suffering, or on post-war reconstruction and the growing material wealth, it seeks out ambivalent images that encapsulate both the challenges facing the country and the hopes carried by all for a different kind of future.

These images carry the weight of the past—negative and positive—but they also speak of warm encounters, creative confrontations, and powerful new possibilities. The exhibition is organized around the all-pervading presence of the physical and cultural beauty of Sri Lanka, of the trauma to which all—old and young—have been exposed, and on the struggle to emerge triumphantly from the past of sadness and pain. Four themes form its structure: the all-pervasive, rich and diverse, ancient culture; the unfinished, sad and poignant legacy of the conflict; the determined re-establishment of everyday life; and the struggle for a world of renewed hope and shared achievement.