Contributing writer - The New Establishment 100 coffee table book and the Echelon Magazine edition of this list.
The New Establishment was a list of new leaders who are building, leading and disrupting Sri Lanka's business world. More info here: https://echelon.lk/ne100/about/
Fidel’s first book is a departure from the cricket journalism that accompanies his by-line. We had a chat about his cricket writing and 'Upon a Sleepless Isle'.
Ps: Recommended reading to accompany this - Fidel's profile on Kumar Sangakkara's dad as well as his 2019 profile on Lasith Malinga.
Mohamed Hanif was my first Galle Lit Fest interview ten years ago so interviewing him again was an interesting exercise. We spoke about Red Birds and journalism. I am a little less starstruck and breathy with my platitudes in this 2019 interview. Just a little.
From 2016 Many of Sri Lanka’s traditional dance forms are rooted in rituals and ceremonies. Channa and Upuli Wijewardena are proponents of a dance form which melds traditional Sri Lankan dance routines, contemporary dance discipline and a marketable glamour. For traditional dance custodians, their permutations of traditional dance are seen as an adulteration of original traditional dance and commercialization of the art. But they have also been instrumental in nudging Sri Lankan dance forms into the mainstream. We had a chat about their journey.
Vahni Capildeo’s poetry is dense. This sounds like a simplistic way of describing poetry but it’s the first word which comes to mind. The poems are thick with multiple cultural and literary references – Venus as a Bear (2018) alludes to everything from Icelandic singer-songwriterBjörk to 16th-century French poetry.
Shankari Chandran’s Song of the Sun God is a sensitive, fast-paced read and easily a noteworthy addition to Sri Lankan English fiction. She speaks about writing about Tamil society in Sri Lanka at a particular point in time, how her work as a lawyer informed her writing and more.
An essay on Eid in Sri Lanka and the cultural elements that have influenced the island's palate.
Panda enthusiast and photographer, Ami Vitale, paused for a chat when she was in Sri Lanka.
A convoluted inheritance of its colonial past, Sri Lanka’s tea industry has been sculpted with increasing global competition and market volatility and is central to the country’s narrative. This is a glimpse of the man who made Ceylon Tea into a household brand.
Edit: revisiting this years later has been an exercise in self-reflection and a reminder to better critically engage with a topic. This reads as a very rose-tinted view of Lipton and doesn't deal with the violent history of tea or critically analyze its colonial implications. Sri Lanka's tea industry tends to gloss over these.