Walkabout: Slave Island

An audio slideshow in twelve parts
The post-war drive for development across Sri Lanka has been inexorable. So much so that the Urban Development Authority has been taken over by the Defence Ministry – sending out a message to citizens that development has now become a battle of sorts, to be fought – and won – with the same relentless determination as the last.

Colombo too is undergoing a planned metamorphosis into a city more modern, more efficient and more beautiful – but at what cost? Slave Island’s proximity to the commercial hub of the city makes it one of the main focuses of this proposed development – which means that soon, it will look and feel very different to what it is now.

Walkabout: Slave Island is an opportunity to get to know the texture and nature of this area in all its colour and chaos, through the personalities of 12 of its residents. Their personal stories will hint at the complexity of living in such a locality – where cultures clash with security concerns; where industry coexists with poverty; where age-old traditions come to grips with newer trades.

Producers: Sharni Jayawardena and Tarika Wickremeratne