Category Archives: art & allure bewitching
Tony Donaldson’s Treasure Trove
Here are two photos of Charlie Chaplin in Bali from my collection.
In one photograph, we see Chaplin in a comical moment as if he is conducting a gamelan orchestra in a Balinese village, possibly Ubud. He could also be dancing in front of the gamelan — for the way his arms and hands are positioned suggest this We can’t say for sure. The gamelan players are clearly enjoying this moment with Chaplin, with lots of fun and laughter. A gamelan orchestra is led by the kendang (drum) player – the nearest thing to a kind of conductor in a gamelan.
Few need introductions to the Western movement of slaves from Africa across the Atlantic Ocean. Much has been documented and studied about this horrific part of history. But this wasn’t the only slave route that existed; a far older eastern movement of slaves was forcibly taking people to the opposite side of the world. Between the first and 20th century, beginning with Arabs and the Ottomans, and later continued by the Portuguese, the Dutch, French and the British, an estimated 4 million Africans were taken from their homes, mostly in East Africa, and across the Indian Ocean.
Shihan de Silva Jayasuriya
Whilst the transatlantic slave trade has overwhelmed the historiography of Africa, the forced easterly movement of Africans is only receiving scholarly attention in the twenty first century. Movement of Africans from the Continent is not characterised by the slave trade alone. Not surprisingly, free Africans moved eastwards as missionaries, soldiers, sailors and traders. Forced migration was concurrent with free migration.
Michael Roberts, a reprint
Intrigued by my speech inflections and my appearance, a friend of mine, a teacher in English Literature, made inquiries after my familial background and my ethnic identity within the melange of ethnic groups in Sri Lanka. She learnt that my Barbadian father had related very few stories in his life and times in Barbados and that my sense of West Indianness was muted. This puzzled her. Forced thus into retrospective reflection I now conclude that I lived my youthful life immersed in my everyday activities without much concern for a distinct self-identity of an ethnic sort.
Chryshane Mendis, reviewing Till the Mountains Disappear: The Story of St. Joseph’s College’ authored by Avishka Mario Senewiratne and late Fr. Dr. Stanley Abeysekera
It was well known back in the day that Fr. Stanley Abeysekera was writing a book on College history and through my Grade 09 exhibition project of 2008, I got to know the great man very closely. From then on till I left school in 2013 I constantly dropped by his room and viewed the rare Blue and White magazines with him and earnestly listened to his stories of College. I was sad that his progress on the manuscript had slowed down due to his failing eyesight and when he was finally called to rest in 2015, I thought the book had died with him.
Krishani Peiris, with photo-work by Menaka Aravinda, …. a repeat from a presentation in 2013 with a different title
Located approximately 1,331 metres above sea level, Diyatalawa in the Haputale District is well known as a Garrison Town. Though it is not clear as to when the place became a prominent threshold for armed forces, historical records show that in 1885, the British had stationed a garrison in the area. And from that point onwards, Diyatalawa has being able to carve its own niche in the history of Sri Lanka.
Rohan de Soysa, copy of a PowerPoint Presentation made to the National Trust of Sri Lanka on September 29, 2016 by Rohan de Soysa transcribed into text format …. with coloured underlining [as distinct from that in black] being emphasis imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi
The Origins: The `43 Group was the first modern art movement in Sri Lanka. It arose because a group of artists felt that the art being practiced and taught at the time was too academic and rigid; nor did it attempt to follow new developments in European art since the early 20th Century. They therefore decided to form a group more open to these new developments but with a distinct Ceylonese stamp and flavour.