Standard Chartered Colomboscope 2014, Colombo’s mega arts festival to be held January 30 – February 3, 2014, will celebrate contemporary literature, music, film and dance, bringing together national and international academics, authors, musicians, dancers, filmmakers and actors to reflect upon history in all its complexities.
Organised by the Goethe-Institut, British Council and Alliance Française, the festival will explore the theme ‘Making History’, which it shares with The Colombo Art Biennale, Colombo’s cutting edge showcase of both local and international contemporary visual arts.
Panel sessions will look at how histories are recorded and passed down through the ages, through performance and visual arts, buildings and monuments, clothing, language and the written word, narratives, and media.
Standard Chartered Colomboscope 2014 has specially chosen historical venues which will provide a thematic atmospheric backdrop for all sessions. ‘If Walls Could Talk’ story sessions and Walkabout guided tours will give audiences a chance to discover and explore parts of Colombo rarely visited: the Whist Bungalow and its gardens in Modera; the Old Town Hall, Pettah; the Grand Oriental Hotel and St Peters Church, Fort; New Town Hall Auditorium, Nelum Pokuna Mawatha; the Nuga Tree, Sri Lanka Foundation, Independence Square; Rio Cinema and Hotel Complex, Slave Island; Goethe Institut, Gregory’s Road.
Dancer Venuri Perera will open the festival at the Sri Lanka Foundation with a debut performance of her new piece Keselmaduwa, a new interpretation of ritual folk dances and melodies. The Chamber Music Society of Colombo will play at Whist Bungalow and St Peter’s Church, Fort; and the Soul Acoustic Trio, and Musicmatters will perform at the Grand Oriental Hotel transporting festival goers to times gone by; musicians Serendib Sorcerers, and singer Ajith Kumarasiri will add to the picnic atmosphere at Whist Bungalow. The chambers of the Rio Hotel & Cinema Complex in Slave Island will be the backdrop for Mind Adventures Theatre Company and the Gob Squad on their imaginative journeys into familiar but parallel worlds.
International writers at the festival include Iraqi/German writer Abbas Khider, sociologist Dr. Marcus Hawel, Shyam Selvadurai, Adam Foulds and Joanna Kavenna (two of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2013).
The importance of complementing mainstream history with citizens’ accounts will also be explored in sessions such as Memory and Remembrance, History’s Lenses, Social History and the Rise of the Citizen Historian and Whose Narrative is it Anyway? Award winning local and international writers will debate and discuss how they have dealt with, and been witness to eventful periods in modern history, and read from their works. Throughout the festival there will be History-Scope screenings showing the impact of film on the documentation of historic events.
The festival is also supported by Sri Lankan Airlines; Grand Oriental Hotel; Colombo Municipal Council; Sri Lanka Foundation; Print Care; Vision; Barefoot; Trekurious and Good Market.
The festival programme consists of ticketed and free events with concessions/discounts planned for students. Tickets are available from Goethe Institute and the British Council during opening hours and at the events venues.
There will be a free shuttle bus on Saturday February 1st, 2014 from Goethe Institut to Whist Bungalow Modera via Grand Oriental Hotel, Fort. Further details on the festival are available at http://www.colomboscope.org and www.facebook.com/colomboscope