We embraced one identity, VOI Photographers.
We shared our limited resources.
We shared our stories and life with the other through lenses.
More and more we get familiar with lenses
More and more we were able to connect to the nakedness of the universe and humans.
It opened up the space to build authentic relationships with the “other”
“Silence” played the role when visual art started to speak.
Voice of Image (VOI) is an exploration that brings young people, visual art, and
social change under one platform to connect human and ecological wellbeing using the passion of photography.
Multi-ethnic, religious and regional 165 trainee photographers’ pool
started the journey to
14 diverse villages in Sri Lanka
The training and mentoring that each young trainee photographer underwent consisted of several stages
Photo taking /making - technicality of photography
Reading oneself and her/his environment through photo reading
Storytelling through photo making
Self-discovery and transformation
Reading and embracing life through music, films and art
Expressing the outcome of inner and outer dialogue through photography
Deeper connections through breaking stereotypes /prejudices
Re-birth of a civilized human
Exhibitions for Dialogue | Dialogue for Action | Action for Change
Building a bridge between generations
Tuning senses in life is an essential element of our journey.
Connecting two ends of life through lenses is about our common theme.
VOI weaves a beautiful story with their grandparents whom they met at
home, road, bus, train or any other place.
It is the story of
7 “ Exhibitions for Dialogue”
On “Elderly Life”
In 5 villages & 4 main cities.
1000 school children,
50 government officers,
1000 community members
Inner, interpersonal and inter-community
Dialogue series to understand the
The cycle of human life
Life of the HUMAN
It opened up space to EMBRACE the LIFE OF ELDERS
The WISDOM, they carry by experiencing life.
It created space to evolve EMPATHY Instead of sympathy.
It opened the space to connect to each other in the human level
Crossing the borders of
age | race | cast | color | class | religion and sexual orientations.
Our Roots are where were born and grew up
We were not able to embrace what we are part of
Our communities were wounded in all levels
We were angry or we did not care
We were not sensitive or ready to take responsibility
We passed each other
We never STOP to understand
We are from villages Ethnically boxed
We are next to each other, Never visited the other
We are not permitted to visit
We are far from each other, Carry the image of “ENEMY”
We decided to BREAK the boundaries
We decided to CHALLENGE ourselves
WE STARTED A JOURNEY TO CONNECT TO OUR OWN BEING
THROUGH CONNECTING TO THE LIFE OF OUR ROOTS & LIVES
“Our Village: Our People”
The discovery of life
175-trainee youth photographers started an experiential learning discovery through camera lenses
Within oneself, between oneself and the humans and nature they experienced,
Emotions they witnessed
Injustice they encountered
Roots they sprouted
Lives they touched
Moments they STOP
Situations they live
Beauty within & around
1000s of visual expressions were painted on camera lenses.
VOI crafted a story through their visual expressions to share the
TRUE STORY OF LIFE
LIFE OF THE VILLAGE AND PEOPLE
Silent youth became facilitative leaders in their communities through organizing
“Exhibitions for Dialogues”
14 “Exhibitions for Dialogues” in 14 villages
1000s of people from all walks of lifes were experiencing their own life in a different angle
Skeptical Parents silently tearing up witnessing the power of their children
Youth and children were enthusiastically exploring to be a VOI member
Politically motivated youth approaching VOI members to understand the way they get this maturity to do this kind of creative political statement
VOI members let the SILENCE SPEAK
Stereotypes and prejudices are broken
Instead of complaining
People started being responsible for identifying actions to address the issues they witnessed at the exhibitions.
UNDERSTANDING THE OTHER
14 “Exhibitions for Dialogues” which represents diverse contexts were ready to start to visit the OTHER
Village Exhibition represents Islam people life is organized in the Hindu village
The war-torn village exhibition is organized in the Southern Buddhist area.
14 Exhibitions for Dialogues organized in other villages
First time met the other
In emotional spare of life
Listen to each other to understand
New understanding addressed the stereotypes and prejudices
These are true visual stories
Who captured those were “friends” of their sons and daughters
Who visited them the first time.
Who lives right in front of them.
Many questions asked
Many stories, facts, incidents shared.
Build friendship and understanding to see the OTHER as a HUMAN
WE ARE VOI
WALKED TOGETHER AS VOI
Sharing one Identity - VOI Photographers
Learning from One teacher
Shared limited resources
Shared our lives as one family
Wanted to be a MODEL
Showcasing that we are SRI LANKANS
As a collective community
We wanted to raise awareness on
Social | Political | Economic | Cultural | Environmental | emotional and spiritual issues
Diverse communities are facing in Sri Lanka
We needed to SENSITISE the OTHER
“Our Country : Our people”
Exhibition for Dialogue series in 5 main cities &
15 Higher Education Institutes across Sri Lanka
We crafted the “Exhibition for Dialogue”
Selecting over 200 Visual stories
Representing realities of OUR LIVES
We are not from the center of POWER
Taking DSLR camera to our hand is not something normal
Crafting a visual story also far from our dreams
We are coming from very polarized and wounded communities
We are together as one community
We represented OUR PRESENCE through our craft, Art & Unity
People who are in the center of the POWER
As well as People from all walks of life
STOPPED for a moment
VIEW + CONNECT + REFLECT + DIALOGUE + UNDERSTAND
More than 5000 people and youth
Were in dialogue space
To Learn and Unlearn
To understand and empathize
In a WOUNDED and POLARISED country
Connecting.. bridging…is the foundation to reconciliation.
“Water as a Healer : Water as a Connector”
In our Exhibitions for Dialogues
People in all villages one of the key concerns was
Issues related to “WATER” resource
We realized common issues can bring people together
We started another Journey
Experienced WATER in
Physical | Physiological | Social | Cultural | Ecological | Emotional | Scientific | Economic | Political
The connection between WATER & LIFE
Taken us to another level of Being
In the processes to craft a story through
Director, YOUNGCREATIVISTS |
Designer, Trainer and Mentor of VOI
As a humanist and artist, Jayanth Dharmawardhana was in a search of a suitable platform to contribute towards envisioning a world he believed in. His main interest was to give birth to a humane, artistic, cultured, young photographers’ pool that would use their visual story-telling skills to transform our world into an equal, just, and humane world. Being a perfectionist and non-violent rebel, Jayanth needed his own space to design and implement the VOI initiative. Creating space for an artist to evolve along with the initiative is VOI. The VOI represents an eight-year committed, tireless, passionate, and disciplined artistic journey that Jayanth and his young photographers’ pool have been engaged in by brainstorming and bringing together thought-provoking ideas for impactful, visual story-telling for dialogue.
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