Journal article

From Colombo to Sri Jayewardenepura: National heritage and the capricious subjectivities of postcolonial capitals


Historic Environment | Australia ICOMOS | Published : 2014


This paper studies the twentieth century transformation of Sri Lanka’s capital cities, Colombo and Sri Jayewardenepura, and the resultant conflicts over their cultural heritage. It demonstrates how a familiar process of reinventing and reimagining cultural identity became entangled in shifting national aspirations. The period studied spans the 26 year long Sri Lankan civil war. During this period when nation building combined with economic liberalisation, colonial, anti-colonial and national politics competed for representation. These transformations were further contextualised in wartime histories of displacement and dispossession causing demographic change. The multiple forces encountered ..

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