Sri Lanka 

For almost 30 years (1983-2009), Sri Lanka experienced a devastating ethnic civil war between the Sri Lankan government and the separatist militant organization, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that claimed over 80,000 people and crippled the country’s economy, infrastructure, and environment.

In 2011, Cartwheel Initiative conducted workshops in graphic design, collage, photography, and music at 3 schools in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province.  Nearly 200 children participated in our custom designed hands-on workshops. Workshops discussed the subjectivity involved in art-making, the role of the artist as the decision maker, and the ways in which art can communicate emotion. Students were encouraged to share their work and express opinions. 

In August 2013, the Cartwheel Initiative returned to Sri Lanka to conduct a two-week workshop at the Foundation of Goodness in Seenigama.  Youth between the ages of 13 and 17 worked under the supervision of Cartwheel’s visiting team of artists to create stop-motion animation short films and photo essays. In the process, they learned filmmaking, photography, visual art, documentation, and music-scoring skills. The films were exhibited at the Foundation of Goodness in Sri Lanka and at The Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York.

In order to insure sustainability of our project, we left behind a complete film-making kit and trained foundation staff in its use, thus equipping them to develop their own curricular innovations and lead future storytelling exercises, both in Seenigama and at a Learning and Empowerment Center currently being developed in the country’s war-torn North.  The Foundation of Goodness established a multimedia program as a result.

An introduction from the founder of Cartwheel Initiative on the Sri Lanka project:


Multimedia pieces created by students (2011 - 2013)

Behind the scenes videos