Dona Nissangaratchie
Dona Nissangaratchie
Undergraduate Student
Cinema and Media Arts, York University
Research Keywords: South Asia; motion picture industry; crafts; Sri Lanka; post-war conflicts; post-colonial; film archives
I am a first-year undergraduate student from Sri Lanka, currently majoring in Film Production with a minor in Economics. My interests lie within South Asia and more deeply in Sri Lanka. I enjoy researching and studying the archives of the motion picture and still photography industries in South Asia. Apart from the digital world, South Asia is home to many cultural art pieces among which sculptures and paintings handcrafted by artists are prominent. The micro economies in many countries purely depend on this craft and diving deep into this aspect of South Asia is important. I plan on engaging with such communities closely.

Sri Lanka also has an interesting history in its motion picture industry while being home to many endemic handcrafts that were neglected post-colonialism and are yet to be introduced to modern urban society. However, my interests in Sri Lanka go beyond the artistic world. Sri Lanka suffered a civil war that ended in 2009. During the war, an uncountable number of war crimes were committed by both parties. Even though the war ended many people currently lie in a state of anguish. Visiting these marginalized communities and learning their stories compelled me to study the topics, which ranged from mass graves to land grabs. The conversations with these individuals were quite riveting. A focal point of my research will be marginalized communities in Sri Lanka. As a filmmaker, I hope to narrate the aforementioned artistic and community stories through visual imagery.