Indian Ocean Memories and African Migrants (2014) 
Shihan de Silva (School of Advanced Study, University of London)
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Hemal Jayasuriya
Start time:
29 June, 2017 at 17:45 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

Dr Shihan de Silva Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka (40 min) Independent Production English, Sinhala, Sri Lanka Portuguese Indian Ocean Memories and African Migrants directed and produced by Dr Shihan de Silva explores the cultural memories of the largest Afro-Sri Lankan community. Dances and songs in creolised Portuguese, a language of trade and commerce for 350 years in Sri Lanka, connect the Afro-Sri Lankans to Africa, now no longer an imagined homeland. Africans were prominent in the Indian Ocean World in various spheres but the majority of Afro-Asians are pushed to the margins due to political changes and loss of patronage. Performing tradition enables Afro-Sri Lankans to carve out a niche in the cultural arena of their hostland. Fading memories of slavery and the slave trade can still be heard in the narratives of their oral histories.