In a move to draw in art tourism as a major component of Sri Lanka’s tourism industry and bring in bigger benefits to the country’s business ecosystem, hospitality giant Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts is hosting the fifth edition of the popular arts festival, Cinnamon Colomboscope 2017 this September.
The multidisciplinary arts festival in Colombo, which is the only one of its kind in Sri Lanka, and is being linked to a number of major objectives from business to environmental & social. Its business objectives revolve around Sri Lanka’s developing tourism industry which is benefiting the entire commercial sphere from hospitality, retail, entertainment, real estate through to construction.
The event will include an eclectic range of artists and performers from Sri Lanka and abroad, creating an exciting, interactive and intellectual attraction in the island’s commercial hub of Colombo. The festival itself is curated as an annual event in the developing city of Colombo, and is expected to help in positioning the metropolis as a hub for arts and culture.
Cinnamon Colomboscope was founded by EUNIC Sri Lanka (Goethe-Institut, British Council and Alliance Française de Kotte) as a contemporary arts festival open to the public. The festival theme for 2017 titled Re/Evolution, advocates environmental consciousness and signifies the need to re-look at our ways and mend them, by acting against the harm that our systems and ourselves are causing the planet.
Environmentalists and climate experts constantly warn of the after-effects of harmful habits hardwired to our systems; the ever-growing use of non-biodegradables and chemical pesticides; non-transparent contingency plans for disaster management and implementation of destructive ‘development’ programmes with no consideration of the long-term consequences;and the hundreds of concerns surrounding this issue. Cinnamon Colomboscope 2017 aims to highlight these issues through arts, while triggering a progressive conversation on the topic of how to conserve planet Earth as we progress into new futures.
This year’s festival of art will be combining art with technology and new media through the works of over fifty artists, includingrespected names in the local art community such as Anomaa Rajakaruna and the CoCA Collective, and international names such as Ackroyd & Harvey from the UK, Eva Horn and Eva-Fiore Kovacovsky from Germany, Benoit Billotte from Switzerland, Karine Bonnewal from France and Elmas Deniz from Turkey along with several more from Italy, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
With education and awareness building being a central goal of the event, the programme also includes talks on waste management, conscious consumerism, deforestation and development, organic food produce and green technology. Popular talks by international and local artists on their work and process, education and outreach programmes for children facilitated by Mind Adventures Theatre Co and Iridescence, plus a workshop programme for kids, are also scheduled as core components of the festival experience. This exciting and thought-provoking programme has been designed and devised by a Sri Lankan team led by the chief curator Menika van der Pooten and also marks the first time that the festival is managed by a local team of professionals.
Art and culture as a platform renders a very real creative contribution to bring to light defining and complex issues and the search for possible resolutions. Multi-disciplinary artists and creatives, both in the Arts and Sciences, bring unique and myriad perspectives to bear. Cinnamon Colomboscope will bring together creative practitioners and thought leaders to interrogate, communicate, reflect, explore, and re-imagine how creativity could inspire change and support environmental sustainability.
Since its inception, Cinnamon Colomboscope has consistently promoted and built a platform for contemporary art in Sri Lanka; in 2016 it was recorded as the most popular cultural festival in the country based on social media statistics. The festival supports and inspires local and international artists to create engaging, evocative and daring pieces of work that are able to communicate powerful messages to the world, as well as mobilize communities to experience and engage in stimulating and thought-provoking creative processes.
Cinnamon Colomboscope will be held at the former Colombo Terminus Railway Station in Maradana between the 2nd and 7th of September as six days of curated visual and performing arts.
Cinnamon Colomboscope 2017 is organized by Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts in association with John Keells Foundation, Cinnamon Life and Powered by JAT. The festival is conceptualized by EUNIC Sri Lanka comprising the Goethe-Institut, British Council and Alliance Française de Kotte and is supported by the Embassy of Switzerland, the Turkish Embassy, Embassy of France, InstitutFrançais and Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council. Destination partner Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Radio partner EFM.