‘Colombo – the making of a world class city’, a photography exhibition that interrogates and critiques post-war city making in Colombo opens this weekend at the Global Voices Summit 2017 at Trace Expert City in Maradana.

Combining photography and research, the exhibition curated by The Picture Press and the Right to the City initiative explores urban development in Colombo from 2010 to date, highlighting narratives often hidden or violently silenced.

As noted by the exhibition curators, “Colombo’s redevelopment consumes significant public resources, both directly and indirectly, but is not advancing social inclusion or equity. The reality is that massive debts have been incurred on vanity projects such as the Lotus Tower with questionable or untested public utility. With the exception of important flood control measures, much of Colombo’s urban development over the past years has in fact focused on rebranding the city as a hub for global capital, tourism and entertainment and this vision is continued under the current Government’s flagship Megapolis Development Plan. 

It is hard to imagine what Colombo will be like when it has achieved world class city status. The luxury spaces being developed and the lifestyles being promised however, hide the heavy price being paid, as well as raises serious questions about the acquisition of land for development.”

The exhibition is open to the public on 2 and 3 December 2017 from 9.30 am – 6.00pm.