It is increasingly evident that the lasting impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic will not be merely health related. In the early stages of government efforts to contain the virus and over the last few months, Sri Lanka has witnessed worrying trends in the country’s political and human rights landscape. There have been restrictions not only on movement but on freedom of speech and freedom of expression, and the space for dissent and activism is quickly shrinking.

There have been continued reports of arbitrary arrests, forcible detention and discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities as well as restrictions on movement and the right to assemble without any legal framework, purely carried out under the guise of quarantine law.

It has been the average citizen who has been reprimanded for failing to follow guidelines or for what authorities may arbitrarily consider unlawful behaviour while no action has been taken against those in positions of power who have openly violated government regulations.

Vikalpa, collaborating with graphic designer Sanjaya Eknaligoda, presents a concise visual interpretation of the prevailing socio-political context in which recorded and unrecorded memories have been displaced and reduced to dust through space and time, ultimately buried in the name of “a proud history”. This is the first of a series of such visual artworks that will be published by Vikalpa.

Click here or on the link below to read the meanings behind the visual elements.

Corona with the Big Brothers

Translated from Vikalpa.