This recently launched initiative focuses on artistic research, site-responsive production and durational approaches within contemporary cultural practice through month-long residencies for artistic producers hosted in different coastal and rural regions of Sri Lanka. Invited local and international artists will work closely with community mediators and practitioners exploring aspects of social memory, oral histories, informal pedagogy, sonic archives and traditional arts. Each residency will include an Open House as part of contextualizing cultural processes for local audience groups as well as highlighting the process-led and migratory iterations of Colomboscope Festival.
Colomboscope carried out tandem residencies with local and international artists through April - May 2021 extending process-led encounters and inviting artistic exchange in different regions of the island after over a year of travel restrictions. Language is Migrant foregrounds the spirit of movement-based inquiry and new modes of on-site production and collaborative listening that echo our interdependence with living ecologies. Pakistani artist Omer Wasim and Sri Lankan artist Thisath Thoradeniya travelled across the Jaffna peninsula researching botanical species associated with memory, the afterlife of conflict, as well as colonial legacy and social histories of salt in Kandy. They met with environmentalists, horticulturists, artists and writers, eventually making their way to Hiriketiya on the South coast where the residency culminated with an open house. For the second residency in the North, Berlin-based Afghani artist Aziz Hazara together with Batticaloa-based artist Rupaneethan Pakkiyarajah developed their production process by documenting sonic traditions and rituals, and journeying through coastal areas. Their research focused on landscapes as testimonial sites, internal displacement, and terrestrial conflicts in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. They maintained a temporary studio space in the historic village of Vaddukoddai, while working closely with cultural organizer and founder of Kälam, Kirutharshan Nicholas throughout their stay.