Galle Rd & the Indian Ocean, Colombo.

If you’re in Colombo next weekend, pencil in a few events from Colomboscope, an arts festival curated by  Sri Lankan author Ashok Ferrey. 

If I was in town, I’d be making a beeline for the panel of war reporters and a Sri Lankan army representative talking about massaging the numbers of war in ‘Who Counted the Bodies?’ Too grim for your tastes? There’s also a great debate on English-Singlish-Tinglish (blends of Sinhalese and Tamil), piano recitals, poetry and a rock concert 🙂 

FRIDAY 22ND MARCH 6.00 pm – 06.15 pm
Festival Opening  *Free Event*
Incredibly short speeches by Festival Sponsors: Anirvan Dastidar (CEO Standard Chartered Bank), Tony Reilly (Country Director, British Council), Bjoern Keitels (Director Goethe Institut), Ashok Ferrey (Festival Curator).

6.15 pm – 7.30 pm
Announcement of Short List for the Gratien Prize 2012
*Free Event* Compeered by Nafeesa K Amiruddeen. Introduction of judging panel, comments on the judging process by chair of panel, citations on the shortlisted works, brief self introductions by the five authors, and readings of their short-listed works.

8.30 pm – 10.30 pm
*GOURMET DINNER* At Bayleaf, Dutch Hospital, and Park Street Mews
Details and tickets from February 15th at Park Street Mews.

SATURDAY 23RD MARCH09.00 AM – 09.40 AM The Kaduwa
*Free Event*
Does English serve to unite or divide? English-Singlish-Tinglish – how far should be go with the indigenization of the language? Sumathy Sivamohan, Shermal Wijewardene and Malinda Seneviratne air their views. Moderator Shyamalee Tudawe wields the sword.

10.00 AM – 10.40 AM
1- Anjali Joseph in conversation with Tony Reilly
The prize-winning author of Saraswati Park and Another Country on her writing life.

11.00 AM – 11.40 AM 2- My Life in Robes
Two men and a woman in robes – a Christian priest, a Buddhist monk and a Muslim lady – talk about what those robes mean to them: how they serve to define their identity and how they change the way others perceive them. Moderator: Jill Macdonald.

12.45 PM – 1.30 PM
3 – Lunchtime Concert: Some Musical Fun
Concertmaster Lakshman Joseph de Saram and the Chamber Music Society of Colombo. Mozart Divertimento K. 522

02.00 PM – 02.40 PM 4 – Songs from Across the Water
Four poets: Three of Sri Lanka’s finest – Holocaust poet Anne Ranasinghe, Ramya Jirasinghe and Vivimarie VanderPoorten – and T. S. Eliot Prize nominee Sean Borodale, on expressing identity and alienation through their work.

03.00 PM – 03.40 PM 5 – Flying on the Other Wing
Minoli Ratnayake talks to Carolin Emcke, Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, Koluu and Brandon Ingram about sexual identity and living an alternate lifestyle in modern-day Sri Lanka, and to film-maker Asoka Handagama about the portrayal of it on film.

*Free Events* 04.00 PM
Book Launches and readings

6.00 PM – 08.00 PM
Film show followed by Q&A: Flying with one Wing by Asoka Handagama curated by Anoma Rajakaruna

06.15 PM – 06.30 PM Dance Recitals
*Free Event* Martha Graham – The Resurrection, by Seneka Abeyratne

07.00 PM – 07.45 PM Performance by nATANDA
Choreography by Kapila Palihawadana

08.00 PM – 10.00 PM *GOURMET DINNER*
At Bayleaf, Dutch Hospital, and Park Street Mews.

10.00 PM – 12.00 AM Rock Concert 
*Free Event* Kumar & Out of Time

09.30 AM – 10.10 AM
The Gratien Prize *Free Event*
Former Gratien judge and nominee Neluka Silva talks to last year’s winner Madhubhashini Dissanayaka Ratnayake and this year’s short listed hopefuls about Sri Lanka’s top literary prize for English writing, and what a win would meant to their writing career.

10.30 AM – 11.10 AM 6 – Sean Borodale in conversation with Smriti Daniel
T.S. Eliot Prize nominee, poet Sean Borodale talks to poet and journalist Smriti Daniel

11.30 AM – 12.30 PM 7 – Who Counted the Bodies?
War reporters Carolin Emcke and Julian West in conversation with Rajiva Wijesinha and a representative of the Sri Lankan Army, about the problems of war reportage: Who exactly assigns the numbers in an environment where facts and figures can be massaged equally vigorously by both sides? Moderated by Savithri Rodrigo.

01.00 PM – 01.40 PM 8 – Eshantha Peiris in Concert
One of Sri Lanka’s most gifted pianists, with his own selection.

02.00 PM – 02.40 PM 9 – In the Driving Seat
Three very different women novelists – Yasmine Gooneratne (The Sweet and Simple Kind), Anjali Joseph (Saraswati Park, Another Country) and Shamila Kandatha (Just the Facts, Madam-ji, A Break in the Circle) talk to Mrinali Thalagodapitiya about what exactly drives their work. Is it plot, character or genre? Or is it just plain good writing?

03.00 PM – 04.00 PM 10 – Kaveri Lalchand: One woman show
Side-splitting laughs with a born entertainer.

*Free Events*
04.00 PM – 04.30 PM Book launch – M.T.L. Ebell

05.00 – 05.30 PM  CD launch by Spa Ceylon

06.00 PM – 08.00 PM Film show followed by Q&A: August Sun by Prasanna Vithanage curated by Anoma Rajakaruna

07.00 PM – 07.45 PM Dance Recital: ‘Absence’, created by Ruhanie Perera in collaboration with Sally Dean and Jake Orloff

08.00 PM – 10.00 PM AFTERPARTY – Street bands and food carts

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