Voice of Image

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

Explore | See | Experience | Learn | Unlearn | Express  & Grow through lenses


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 


Elderly Life

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 teachers,

50 government officers,

1000 community members

Went through

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 Village: Our People”

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




“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




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. 



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   




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 

We organized 

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


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 





 Jayanth Dharmawardhana


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.