M.Vijitharan's body of work narrates the experiences of civilians of the Vanni in the north of Sri Lanka duringand post war. The artist utilizes objects and forms from their story to create drawings and installations that act as a narrative. His works titled Motherland objectify the man vertty with welded bullets and shell casings to narrate the story of displaced farmers who resiliently tried to work on the infertile land given to them post-war only to find the soil full of sand, shells, bullets and human skeletons.
'These objects no longer brought back the smell of paddy, they brought back the smell of war. Motherland creates a visual narrative of the story of Mullivaikal, also known as the White Flag Incident. At the very end stages to the Sri Lankan civil war it is believed that the LTTE used civilians as a shield to protect themselves while they hid in a 3km strip of land separated by a shallow sand bridge. As civilians were released theimage of hundreds crossing this strip, many carrying belongings with them, became a strong memory of this time.The shells in this installation feature drawings of belongings and life; the little illustrations symbolic of what these civilians left behind as they crossed a front line.
Vijitharan's work has been exhibited at the Saskia Fernando Gallery Colombo, Colomboscope 2016 curated by Natasha Ginawala and Menike Van der Poorten, Open Space Colombo curated by Raking Leaves and the Asia Art Archive and Watch This Space – an Art Raker and Groundviews collaboration.
Abdul Halik Azeez
Abdul Halik Azeez is a strategy consultant working both for the corporate and development sectors. He is also an independent researcher whose main areas of interest currently include online hate speech and critical discourse analysis. With a master's degree in financial economics and a bachelor's in international business, Halik has worked in fields as diverse as marketing, banking and economic research.
A former journalist for the Sunday Leader and an active citizen journalist, Halik's recent interest in journalistic and conceptual photography has garnered a large following on Instagram. His work has been published on platforms such as The Picture Press and Groundviews and has been exhibited at Spectrums: Alternative Views on Development Explore the power of pictures at Center for Poverty Analysis, Colombo (July 2011) and 'Colombedouin' at the Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo (November 2014).