Discovering the Hidden Gems of Colombo A Unique Photography Exhibition

Sep 06 2023.

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In a unique collaboration between Cinnamon Colombo Hotels and Streets of Colombo, an exclusive photography exhibition promises to be unveiled in the heart of Colombo like never before. During a recent media briefing held at the Cinnamon Grand, the organisers of this upcoming exhibition passionately outlined their objectives for what is set to be a ground-breaking event later this year.

Johann Lattif, the founder of Streets of Colombo (SOC), a collective of talented photographers dedicated to capturing the vibrant essence of life on the streets of Sri Lanka, remarked that Fort and Pettah have traditionally been beloved locations for local photographers. His words set the stage for an exhibition that will not only showcase familiar scenes but also delve into the uncharted territory of undiscovered talent.

Lattif expressed the sentiment shared by many residents of Colombo, stating, "For most of us living in Colombo, we become jaded,” he said, explaining how locals are often accustomed to their surroundings, losing sight of the beauty that surrounds them. 

The organisers are keen on attracting regional photographers to visit Colombo and capture the city's profound beauty and the rich tapestry of its people, which may otherwise go unnoticed.
Street photography, while captivating, has often remained on the fringes of mainstream photography, as pointed out by David Blacker, a Documentary, Travel, and Ethnographic Photographer. He emphasised that the exhibition would serve dual purposes. First, it will support two charitable beneficiaries, the SOS Children’s Village and the Meals that Heal programme. Second, it aims to champion photographers involved in the genre of street photography, providing them with a platform to showcase their unique perspectives.

Kamal Munasinghe, Area Vice President of Colombo Cinnamon Hotels, highlighted the global popularity of street photography. He noted that worldwide travellers are increasingly interested in experiencing destinations in their raw, unfiltered authenticity. He said, "Around the world, street photography is gaining immense popularity. Modern travellers seek diverse and engaging aspects of destinations, and street photography serves as a powerful medium to fulfil that desire. It not only promotes destinations but also beckons tourists to explore them further,” he said. 

Munasinghe underlined the crucial role that the exhibition plays in reshaping the perception of Colombo. He said, "There's often a misconception that Colombo has limited attractions for visitors. Hopefully, with this exhibition, that perception will change." He emphasised Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts' unwavering commitment to showcasing the best of Sri Lanka to its visitors.

Brandon Ingram, Vice President of Marketing and Brand at Cinnamon, emphasised the contemporary traveller’s quest for authenticity. With the emergence of social media, travellers are seeking unfiltered, genuine experiences, he said.  “Streets of Colombo present an opportunity to showcase Colombo in its truest form”, Ingram added. He also noted that there is a treasure trove of histories and mysteries waiting to be uncovered in the heart of Colombo, making it a destination worth exploring.

The upcoming photography exhibition promises to be a remarkable journey into the undiscovered corners of Colombo, celebrating its authenticity, and supporting both charitable causes and talented photographers. It is a unique opportunity for Colombo to shine brightly on the global stage, offering a fresh perspective that goes beyond the surface of the city. 

By Kalani  Kumarasinghe
Pix by Waruna Wanniarachchi

 



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