Creating Heroines

photo credits to Irushi Tennekoon

Creating Heroines South Asia Regional Programme is a collaborative international project initiated by the British Council which brings together female artists, graphic novelists, and illustrators, and explores the themes of overlooked heroines from the past and imagines heroines of the future. The lead resource person on the programme is UK illustrator, Nicola Streeten.

Phase 3: 'Reclaim Your Power' Zine

The 'Reclaim Your Power' zine was a grant project by Aadhi Jayaseelan and Amashi de Mel. It is a collection of illustrations, poems and writings on the topic of women & girls' health and wellbeing and is aimed at engaging young adults. Aadhi, an illustrator and Amashi, a writer, attended a 5-day regional Creating Heroines virtual workshop in March 2021 and were among participants from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nepal. 

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Phase 2: 'Animate Her' Series

The 'Animate Her' series was implemented under two grant projects by illustrator and filmmaker, Irushi Tennekoon. It is a collection of animated films based on interviews from trailblazing women in STEAM, in Sri Lanka. The women involved read an illustrious list ranging from marine biologist Asha de vos on studying blue whales, children's book writer and illustrator the late Sybil Wettasinghe on storytelling, architect Amila de Mel on archiving architecture, lawyer and human rights advocate Ramani Muttettuwegama on advocacy for the disappeared, professional dancer Thaji Dias on traditional dance, ICT entrepreneur Lakmini Wijesundera on building global tech brands and wildlife conservationist Anya Ratnayake on the Colombo wetlands and the urban fishing cat. 

Irushi participated in the second edition of the Creating Heroines regional workshop organised in Kathmandu, Nepal in February 2019. This 5-day workshop involved artists from the UK, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

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Phase 1: 'This is a box that I don’t fit into' Zine

In March 2018, Isuri Dayaratne, illustrator, participated in a 4-day regional Creating Heroines workshop and open studio in Kathmandu, Nepal. The open studio saw 70+ people come into the gallery to look at the works of the participating artists.  Isuri created a mini-zine with illustrations based on crowdsourced ideas and drawings gathered at the Creating Heroines illustration stall held at the Women Of the World Festival in Colombo (2017).

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