We are what we see in the world

Hey there passionate ones,

I’m writing to you this Wednesday morning in the midst of a torrential downpour.  I love it – the way the early morning sky cracks open with thunder and lightning, the way the rain pellets down and splashes against the earth with incredulous force, making the dust rise and the traffic slow to a near standstill.  If I could just sit and observe the rain for a few more hours (with my cup of tea), I most certainly would.

But what’s even more exciting than the rain is CEPA’s upcoming photography exhibition – “Spectrums: Alternative Views on Development”.  It’s like the long awaited sister of “Picture Change”!  We’ve been talking a lot lately about the power of photography – a universal language that can speak a thousand words unsaid and engage people from diverse backgrounds in a constructive and compelling manner.

CEPA’s exhibition aims to be an alternative means of highlighting issues of poverty and development in Sri Lanka and the broader South Asian region.  We’re hoping this exhibition can facilitate the dialogue on a broad range of development issues not only amongst policy practitioners, academics and the usual crew…but also amongst ordinary citizens and youth.  After all, “development” in its contested applications has so much relevance to all of us, albeit in different facets.

Submissions for the exhibition will be accepted from people all over the world as photo essays and individual photographs, under the following themes:

  • Environment – focusing on climate change, environmental issues and related social, economic and political impacts
  • Post-crisis recovery – the South Asian region has been affected by multiple crises in the recent past; the global economic crisis, large-scale and localised natural disasters, and violent conflict. This category aims to highlight these instances and impacts
  • Ageing – Sri Lanka’s ageing population is growing and recent population projections indicate the share of the elderly will rise even further. This category aims to highlight the dimensions and instances of ageing, focusing on both the positive and not so positive features of growing old
  • Inequality – inequality exists in various forms, across various segments of society. This category aims to depict the dimensions of inequality which exist, drawing on group based inequalities such as ethnicity, gender and age
  • Leisure, recreation and inequality linkages – Leisure and recreation are experienced by individuals in various ways based on differences and inequalities along social, economic, cultural and ethnic lines, among others. This category will showcase pieces that depict the interplay between leisure, recreation and inequality
  • Open category (colour) – this category will showcase pieces in colour, depicting people, places and instances which broadly relate to the South Asian context and do not fall under the above themes
  • Open category (monochrome) – this category will showcase pieces in black and white, or shades of a single colour, depicting people, places and instances which broadly relate to the South Asian context and do not fall under the above themes

The deadline for submissions is June 1st 2011.  More info on the guidelines for submission and application forms can be found here .   You can also fire us off an email to exhibition@cepa.lk

I hope you consider sending us some of your attempts at understanding, challenging, or simply embracing the South Asian region.  There is so much about its intricate beauty and sometimes sad complexity that simply unravels me…and I have a feeling that I’m not really alone in this…




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