Maya McCoy

“Demons in Paradise” Shifts Away From Prevailing Sri Lanka War Narratives

November 15, 2018

Jude Ratnam didn’t realize he would be telling his own story. Initially, Ratnam set out to make a film about the Sri Lankan Civil War, using the railway connecting the Sinhalese-dominated south and the Tamil-dominated north as a springboard for his explorations. “You can’t rationally understand the process of art-making,” Ratnam told Kajal. “But one … Read More

Find Your Drape with “The Sari Series”

October 15, 2018

The sari has become a constant among South Asian cultures. Now, many women learn the Nivi drape, when they reach adulthood. Learning the Nivi drape, for many, checks off the cultural sari box. But to Malika Verma Kashyap, Producer and Creative Director of “The Sari Series,” this wasn’t enough. “The Sari Series: An Anthology of … Read More

Arun Welandawe-Prematilleke Brings Queer Truth to Colombo’s Stage

September 24, 2018

The One Who Loves You So, writer and director Arun Welandawe-Prematilleke’s widely-anticipated original play, ran at Colombo’s Namel Malini Punchi theater in August. The play is a complex depiction of a short-lived relationship between two men, one “a wealthy Colombo trust-fund baby” and the other a British expatriate. Their relationship starts with an ordinary match … Read More

Premiere: Qais Essar’s “The Culmination of a Sorrowful Life” Is a New Classic

August 10, 2018

Produced by Afghan-American filmmaker Ali Baluch, Qais Essar’s newest video brings a simple visual approach to a complex song. Unlike Essar and Baluch’s last, more experimental collaboration, “REVOLUTION: Part I ANTHEM,” the video pieces together straightforward shots of Essar playing the rabab in two different settings. According to Essar, the simple concept of the video … Read More

Akil Kumarasamy’s “Half Gods” Troubles the Idea of Homeland

July 23, 2018

There is something particular about hearing the same stories repeated again and again by family members. A loving frustration. There are the looks shot between siblings, across kitchen tables, of “this again?” There is the conviction with which a grandfather or a mother or an uncle tells the story, each time like it’s going to … Read More

Playlist: Baila Summer

July 11, 2018

Baila music is a staple of Sri Lankan culture. The genre originated as a blend of two Sri Lankan communities: the kaffir population – descendents of enslaved African brought to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese – and the Portuguese-descended Burghers. Baila is characterized by its distinct beat, taken from colonial influences, mixed with traditional Sinhalese … Read More

Raw Silk Weaves Indian Classical and Electronic Ethereal

July 2, 2018

Raw Silk will pull you out of your head and into the moment. Raw Silk released their self-titled first album June 1st, bringing together cello, sitar, and vocals to create their own layered sound. Turning traditional music on its head, the Baltimore-based duo blends elements of Indian classical music and experimental electronics to create a … Read More

Porochista Khakpour’s “Sick” Tackles America’s Illnesses

June 25, 2018

“America is a sick country.” This is the refrain Porochista Khakpour recalls hearing from her Iranian immigrant relatives, spoken “in every meaning of the sentence possible.” In her new book Sick: A Memoir, Khakpour dives deep into her experience as an Iranian-American author living with late-stage Lyme disease, which she contracts from a tick bite. … Read More