A note from the Artist
Offerings are part of an ongoing project exploring the theme of blindness, the blurring of visibility and the literal and psychological whitewashing of ethnic identity in the aftermath and afterlife of war in the context of post-war Sri Lanka.
This chapter, entitled Offerings, portrays a series of hands belonging to one family of survivors from the Northern district of Mullaitivu. Shot in varying degrees of visibility the photographs are coupled with hand written texts inscribed directly onto the surfaces of the images by the survivors themselves.
Acknowledging the significance of the hand as an organ of performance the images work in unison with the accompanying texts to go to the heart of the feelings of one set of survivors who bore direct witness to the final months of fighting from the shorelines of the no fire zone.
Offerings give these survivors both form and voice to express their emotions to the outside world providing them with an avenue for traumas and emotions to surface empowering them as victims and transforming them into active agents working for change.
Previously when I asked one of the survivors how he felt he described a burning sensation deep inside. After he wrote on the images I asked him again and he told me it felt like the burning sensation had been reduced.
Translations of the texts have been offered in both English and Sinhala with the kind help of Dilma Ishwara.
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