To remember Black July, Groundviews brought together leading documentary filmmakers, photographers, activists, theorists and designers, in Sri Lanka and abroad, to focus on just how deeply the anti-Tamil pogrom in 1983 shaped our imagination, lives, society and polity.

The project is called 30 Years Ago and details of it can be read here.

I was, I am, part of the larger project, is a 3-part photo & audio based documentary that attempts to explore the stories and opinions of women which have not been hitherto explored in the context of 1983 and the three decades that followed.

The productions explore the stories of 43 women from all walks of life who were shaped or influenced by 1983. Women whose opinions were powerful, but not commonly visible in mainstream media. Some were active during 1983, while others were born in that era or after and are currently active in some sphere. The duration and period of their journeys varied but we found that their experiences and ideologies have common features. Our conversations with them taught us how much has changed in the last three decades as well as how much hasn’t.

I Was, I Am was conceptualised & produced by Sachini Perera & Natalie Soysa.

An exhibition of some of the content from 30 Years Ago will be held from 24 – 25 August at the Park Street Mews, Warehouse D in Colombo, Sri Lanka. More details will be posted shortly, along with the launch of a dedicated website for the project. For the moment, visit the event’s Facebook page for daily updates.