Project: Lanka Project
Like in other countries where a violent guerrilla group fought the government, the situation for Sri Lankan refugees is complicated. Not least because the facts of the war they are fleeing from have not been agreed upon by the Sri Lankan government – particularly its final stages, in early 2009.
But another complication is their relationship with the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam, or the Tamil Tigers as they were commonly known. Bala was raised in an area that was controlled by the LTTE. He would have known no other world. Many times, they would have provided him with protection. At other times, they also brought danger into his life – as this video shows.
Director and Interviewer: Selvan Raja
Director of Photography and Editor: Dinesh Raveendran
Sound: Sri Sivakurunathan
Producer: Shakthi Sivanathan
Mentors: Shakthi Sivanathan and Mark Taylor
Thanks: Kerry Stirling and Good Grief
One of CuriousWorks’ 2011-2012 community projects, “Banyan” has been with a group of recent Sri Lankan refugees. Half the group have been learning classical Indian dance; the other half film and new media skills. The final outcome, only just completed, is a short classical Indian dance film.
But before that final work, the film group also made some other videos. Their first one was this short interview with a friend of theirs, Bala.
CuriousWorks’ Director, Shakthi Sivanathan, was on Sri Lankan TV a few weeks ago. He chatted with Jovita Arulanantham of Young Asia Television about CuriousWorks’ projects with Australian refugee communities and the links being forged between Sri Lankan and Australian narratives in The Lanka Project.
7:00pm – 8:30pm
Saturday 16th June 2012
Lennox Theatre, Riverside Theatres
Corner Church and Market Streets, Parramatta
FREE – please arrive early to get seats as the venue may reach capacity
_RSVP + Queries: firstname.lastname@example.org _
_More information: http://lankaproject.net/ _
A collection of captivating short films made by a group of Australians who came to this country as refugees from Sri Lanka. The group has been brought together, trained and supported by dynamic arts organisation CuriousWorks to make their films; and Lingalayam Dance Company to learn classical Indian dance. They are a mix of experienced and first-time artists and filmmakers, working together to make professional level work.
The teaser film is a short documentary, Bala, about fleeing Sri Lanka during the final years of the war. The first preview film is the video clip for Sugam, by music artist NAVE, music produced by Mayu Ganeshan. The second preview film is a gorgeous classical Indian dance work, which portrays the story of a family in a Sri Lankan village that is separated by the war. The whole film is portrayed through classical Indian dance, music and costume. The final and main film – Dark Moon – is a fiction work about an ESL teacher who takes her class of “recent arrivals” on an excursion to Manly. A story the teacher tells about the Aboriginal history of Manly provokes an unexpected story from Seran, usually the class clown, about why he left Sri Lanka. Seran’s story in turn has an unexpected effect on a girl in the class he’s been fancying for a while.
Films directed by Selvan Raja and produced by Sri Siva, with the support of CuriousWorks and Lingalayam Dance Company.
Palmera’s Director, Abarna, has written about her most recent trip here: http://blog.palmeraprojects.org/tag/abarna-april-2012-visit/ .
Most of you would not know me to be the religious type and for the most part you would be right, but there was a lot to pray about while I was here.
I prayed that I would arrive and leave Killinochi safely. My prayer was answered thanks to my father, Niv, Joel, my two escorts (Jana & a german volunteer I bumped into) and a forgiving army official when I forgot my passport and lost the keys to my luggage!!
I prayed for the beneficiaries to have the strength to dream when when one of the young participants said that no one had ever asked her to dream before. My prayer was answered when Jeya Anna delivered one of the most powerful messages I have ever had the privilege to hear. At the end of the day the participants unanimously agreed that they wanted to change their name to Thiruvaya ( a great poet) as they wanted to embody his wisdom, his spirituality and his strength. They had all learnt not only how to dream but how to be visionaries.
I prayed that somehow, although I was occupied in the village workshop all day, I would have an opportunity to meet other NGOs to discuss potential projects. My prayer was answered that night when they found me and the next night Oxfam Australia (Killinochi Division) organised dinner with a round table of NGOs. I learnt more that night then I would have in months.
I prayed that the heat would die down. This prayer was not answered
I prayed for my own inspiration and my prayer was answered when I met Father Praba who runs the BOLO project (which was Palmeras first project for this year). Orphaned at 4 years old, he and other boys from the orphanage started BOLO. Although a small grass roots, their impact is great and their energy infectious. They work in an almost 100% Hindu village with the poorest of the poor. He took me through the orphanage he grew up in, which was bombed beyond recognition, smiled and said that now it was about looking forward.
I prayed that I would find a way to bring Threads of Hope to life as this will be the project that transforms Palmera. My prayers were answered and I somehow I found myself around a table with the NGO, the expert and the experienced to guide our approach. It was one of the most energetic lunches I have had in a long while!
And I hour before I board the plane back to Australia, my last silent prayer is that we are all given the strength to make the difference I know that is within us all to help transform this place of destruction back to the way that it was always intended to be.
Dig deeper into her trip at http://blog.palmeraprojects.org/tag/abarna-april-2012-visit/
Learn more about Palmera at http://www.palmeraprojects.org/
Those who use Star Now can find this casting call here .
Please note this audition is for a 2 week rehearsal period to showcase key scenes from the play. Rehearsals are currently scheduled for May 2012.
Actors with both text and movement based / physical theatre experience are especially encouraged to audition.
Synopsis : A Counting and Cracking of Heads follows the uprooting and resettling of a family over four generations from Sri Lanka to Australia. Through their journey, we see a Sri Lanka riven by, but by no means surrendering to, violent divisions – and an Australia transforming of, but also transformed by, the people that flee to its shores. This is a stylised, epic drama about love, violence, silence and hope in families – all from the perspective of the insiders.
Location : Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Payment details : Paid work. Payment details will be provided privately.
Applications to this casting call requirements: Please send a CV, headshot and link to showreel to email@example.com
The great-grandson of the family is Siddhartha. An Aussie born and bred, but of Sri Lankan appearance, Sid is the lead for the second act and reconnects with his heritage, with dramatic consequences, over the course of the play.
Males, aged 18 to 30
Ethnicity: Sri Lankan
Lily is a supporting lead for the second act, set in Australia. She is of mixed heritage appearance (Aboriginal Australian / European / Asian) and has a strong, independent spirit.
Females, aged 18 to 30
Mixed heritage appearance
Apah is the lead for act one of the play, set in Sri Lanka. He is a social conservative but a political rebel. An epic role.
Males, aged 40 to 70
Ethnicity: Sri Lankan
Aacha is the supporting lead for act one of the work, set in Sri Lanka. She is the real ruler behind the patriarch of the family, Apah – but she rules from behind the scenes. She doesn’t get involved in his politics and concentrates on family and community.
Females, aged 40 to 75
Ethnicity: Sri Lankan
Radha is a lead in both act one and two. She has to manage a traumatic transition from Sri Lanka to Australia, leaving the family history behind and starting a new chapter in Oz.
Females, aged 18 to 40
Ethnicity: Sri Lankan