Sri Lanka

Rolex Rasathy and Navz-47 are Celebrating Tamil Women with “Raavanan”

March 13, 2019

“We’ve been waiting for a song like this.” This is what Rolex Rasathy says she hears from so many Tamil women, in response to her latest music video, Raavanan. In the video, which dropped first on Valentine’s Day, New York-based singer Rolex Rasathy and Toronto-based rapper Navz-47 team up to confront a man who has … Read More

“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

Of The Island Celebrates Lankan Self-Representation

October 11, 2018

Of The Island is a short film by Amanda Yogendran and Vidhya Manivannan that centers four young creatives of the Sinhalese, Tamil, and Burgher Sri Lankan diaspora – Ushka, Rolex Rasathy, ELSZ, and Santhya – who share their experiences of migration, culture, identity, art, and self-expression. “I feel like I always had an alter ego,” a voice in … 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

“Marriage of a Thousand Lies” Relishes in the Uncertainty of Love

August 3, 2018

In Marriage of a Thousand Lies, Lucky, the restless romantic, ruminates on queerness and notes that, “most people think the closet is a small room. They think you can touch the wall, touch the door, turn the handle, and walk free. But when you’re inside it, the closet is so vast. No walls, no doors, just empty darkness stretching … 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

Sri Lanka Declares State of Emergency Amidst Religious Attacks

March 7, 2018

Sri Lanka declared a state of emergency on Tuesday amidst mob attacks against the minority Muslim population, resulting in at least one fatality. Tensions have long existed between Sinhalese Buddhists, Tamil Hindus, and Muslims in the island country. These mob attacks were reportedly sparked by a road rage incident, in which a Sinhalese truck driver … Read More

New Study Recommends How to Keep LGBTQI Sri Lankans Safe Online

March 1, 2018

In a country where homosexuality is outlawed, the internet provides both an escape and meeting place for LGBTQ Sri Lankans. Experts in Colombo are now studying ways to ensure the safety of LGBTQ Sri Lankans as they log on. A recent study into internet use amongst LGBTQ Sri Lankans was launched in Colombo earlier this … Read More

The Strumpet Diaries – Episode 1

February 23, 2018

Welcome to The Strumpet Diaries, a smutty illustrated comic sure to fire up your loins and get your bratwursts throbbing, written by Tara Kenny and illustrated by Madison Griffiths. Our first comic follows Lakshmi, a woman with one eye on spiritual awakening and the other on what’s going on underneath a certain hot Buddhist monk’s … Read More

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