Installation view of zine, produced for Verzasca Foto Festival 2019

The Screaming Inca

As a part of my work at the Verzasca Foto Residency 2019, I made this zine using photographs taken of various iconography found in the Verzasca Valley in Ticino, Switzerland. These photographs were combined into a digital collage which represented my perspectives of the space in my brief time there. The collages were accompanied by an essay (which reflected on the encountered image), both of which appeared in a zine which was produced for and distributed at the Verzasca Foto Festival 2019.

"I come from Sri Lanka, a country that is known to the outside world through a few polarizing lenses such as ‘ethnic conflict’, ‘tea’ or ‘exotic paradise’. With the long years of the war coming to a close, the latter has been the most prevalent frame through which Sri Lanka has been viewed in recent years. With Lonely Planet naming Sri Lanka its number 1 destination for 2019, the power of this perception increased. That is, until the horror of the Easter Bombings brought it back within the ‘conflict’ frame of reference. Currently the island is stuck in a battle for its image, trying to distance itself from war and violence and bring itself closer the economically beneficial ‘exotic paradise’ frame.

installation view, Verzasca Foto Festival

Verzasca to me, through eyes that are ’stupid’ and ‘resisting mastery’, also seems like an ‘exotic paradise’. Being called the ‘Maldives of Europe’, a new moniker, doesn’t help. The Maldives isn’t far from Sri Lanka, and is known for much the same thing as Sri Lanka is. Moreover, Sri Lanka isn’t much larger than Switzerland, and is an island of multiple ethnicities with cultures that can often seem as alien to each other as the cultures within Switzerland. All of it is held together by a tenuous sense of being ‘Sri Lankan’ or ‘Swiss’ without very many inhabitants knowing what exactly this common denominator is supposed to entail.

These are the loose connections that led me to start conceptualizing this piece. Arriving here and only having six weeks to devise it, the most honest thing I can do is to make something in the process of being formed. I wanted it to reflect my wonder, wonderings, wanderings speculations, assumptions and perceptions in all their un-masterful reality through a piece that is essentially a stream of consciousness thought experiment, A compilation of signs, sights, incidents, memories, mistakes and happenstances."

swipe through the images below for full zine 

The Screaming Inca, publication, 2019