Standard Chartered Colomboscope is Colombo's largest arts festival and celebrates contemporary literature, music, film, dance and theatre. Organised by Goethe-Institut, British Council and Alliance Française.
Colomboscope 2013 – Identities, was a joint initiative of the British Council and the Goethe-Institut, curated by writer and literary personality Ashok Ferry. Over the course of one weekend in March 2013, this multidisciplinary festival brought together writers, artists and musicians from across the country and beyond, showcasing and sharing their varying approaches and understanding of the festival theme: Identities.
In order to build upon this concept and create a rich festival experience for its visitors, the 2014 edition of the Standard Chartered Colomboscope shares its theme of ‘Making History’ with Colombo Art Biennale – Colombo’s cutting edge showcase of both local and international contemporary visual arts.
While Colombo, Sri Lanka, and indeed the rest of the world are constantly evolving and transforming, the Standard Chartered Colomboscope offers a forum in which writers, musicians, thinkers, dancers, filmmakers and actors can reflect upon history in all its complexities. Standard Chartered Colomboscope will highlight many facets of historical analysis, including the importance of complementing mainstream history with citizens accounts, the impact of the digital age on the documentation of historic events, the lessons that can be learned with the benefit of hindsight, and artistic re-interpretations of historic folk and dance heritage, are amongst the many themes and ideas that will be showcased at the festival.
Standard Chartered Colomboscope is also an invitation to step off the beaten track and re-discover Colombo, to explore forgotten spaces and take in their magnificent views; watch new interpretations of ritual folk dances and melodies unfold under the majestic Nuga Tree of the Sri Lanka Foundation; enter the forgotten New Town Hall Auditorium on Green Path to hear how art sometimes finds itself playing the role of complementary chronologist; go back in time to the Whist Bungalow in Modera – The fashionable district of mid-19th century Colombo; taste the culinary creations and enjoy a picnic from selected Good Market vendors; play a game of Whist while the Chamber Music Society’s String Quartet musically evokes the sound of a bygone era; follow debates and discussions by award winning local and international writers on how they have dealt with, and been witness to eventful periods in modern history.
Prepare yourself to be surprised when entering the dungeons of the Rio Hotel & Cinema Complex in Slave Island as you join Mind Adventures and the GOB squad on their imaginative journeys into familiar but parallel worlds. Marvel at the view of the ancient, seldom seen, but busily growing Colombo Port as you overlook it from the Harbour and Lotus Rooms of the Grand Oriental Hotel, host to the daily, evening festival lounge.
Come, have a look at history through the Colomboscope!