For the Wilderness Amorgos Art Residency

You are from Sri Lanka, a country of east (as we say traditionally) so different culturally and philosophically from Greece, that is a western country. When you lived and photographed the people of Amorgos what was the "common" in the eyes of the persons that you captured in camera, "common" with the portraits of people that you made so far?

I actually found a lot of similarities between Greece and the cultures of the East. From the flavors of the food to the music. The people too have a very down to earth, informal, earthy quality to them that makes it a joy to interact with them. I did feel a sense of kinship in that sense, coming from an island, to find a way of culturally relating to the people of Greece. In Amorgos I met a lot of interesting people, but the ones that interested me most were those who somehow had experienced Greek history and culture in a way in which they had illustrative life stories. I'm curious about people's stories, and more so if they can inform and give me a unique perspective on broader topics such as culture and history.

How do you approached these people? Were there open to be photographed, were there used to this practice?

It's always tough to approach people with whom you have communication barriers, cultural barriers and the barrier of being a stranger in a strange place. Fortunately i had great friends and colleagues from the Wilderness Residency that helped me translate and talk to people.

Is there a story of Amorgos that you listen or you experienced that you remind you of another "common" story of your birthplace?

Stories of the war, and wars. Even though Amorgos was never touched by it, you hear stories about it. Of young men who were forced to spend time in the army, of people's lives being blown off course by incidents arising from distant uncertainties. In that way the experience was similar in certain ways to my reality of growing u in the capital city of Sri Lanka while a war raged in the North of the country.