Colombo, Media and Communications, Peace and Conflict, Post-War

Art, War and Politics in Sri Lanka: An interview with Jagath Weerasinghe

Jagath Weerasinghe is one of Sri Lanka best known and most influential artists (see bio here). He was commissioned by the Sri Lankan government to design the monument ‘Shrine for the Innocent’ as a remembrance for the innocent victims of the ruthless violence that the southern part of the country experienced in the late 1980s and early 1990s and was completed in 1999.

Jagath and I talked about art and politics, how for example the experience of witnessing the Tamil pogrom in July 1983 and being abducted in the late 70’s shaped his political consciousness and in turn influenced his creative output. We also talked about Sri Lankan art more generally – about new painters, the potential for art in post-war Sri Lanka and the Colombo Art Biennale, slated to be held later this year.