Spatialising Politics: Culture and Geography in Postcolonial Sri Lanka brings together essays on the theme of spatial politics of Sri Lanka. Space is an important factor in the ongoing ethnic conflict fuelling Sri Lanka's continuing civil war. Claims and contestations over the integrity of island space and the control of northern and eastern territories are central to the violently contested dispute. The editors view space from a different perspective. They argue that space is important through a number of registers less frequently invoked in dominant approaches to understanding postcolonial Sri Lankan nationhood, identity and difference. The book examines and historicizes the role of spatialities often occluded within the debates on Sri Lankan politics such as, cities and built-space, diasporic productions and imaginations, commodity cultures and their concordant networks, knowledge spaces and ‘foreign’ intervention, landscape and sacred space, as well as geographical knowledge.
Situated at the intersection of human geography and postcolonial studies, the book signals the ways that postcolonialism and geography are intimately linked and how their intersections evoke the social, spatial and political effects of enduring colonial discourse and representation. In developing its argument, Spatialising Politics also gestures towards alternative spatial imaginations, possibilities and representations, at a time when spaces for alternative discourses on Sri Lankan politics are fast shrinking.
Meeting Places? Centre and Periphery in Civil Society Peace Work
The sporadic chatter in the hall ceases as the young actors and dancers enter the stage. The members of Centre for Performing Arts (CPA) begin their impressively choreographed version of the famous play Ashoka. Boys and girls dressed magnificently—sometimes as many as 50 on stage at a time—have come to Colombo from different parts of Sri Lanka. The girls performing Kandyan dance are from Avissawela in the south, while those doing the Bharatanatyam scenes have travelled from the war-affected north. This performance is indeed not only about offering the audience breathtaking entertainment, it is also a way to provide a meeting place for youth from different ...