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GroundViews reports on the barbed wires

August 21, 2009

groundviews – The Beauty of Barbed Wire: Sri Lanka’s cutting edge exhibition

Banyan News Reporters

 Banyan News Reporters learns that Sri Lanka will hold the world’s first barbed wire exhibition for 180 days beginning 1stSeptember  at the Bandaranaike Memorial Hall under the auspices of the Ministry of Human Rights Disaster Management. Titled ‘The Beauty of Barbed Wire’ the exhibition will showcase cultural uses and relevance of barded wire in Sri Lanka.

“Barbed wire is such a misunderstood medium. This exhibition will demonstrate the multiple uses for barbed wire in Sri Lanka and the long-standing importance of barbed wire in Sri Lankan culture” says the curator of the exhibition, Katherine Gracious.

The use of barbed wire as an aesthetic boundary is a principal focus of the exhibition. The gardens of the BMICH will also be used for this section of the exhibition with a number of leading garden designers and horticulturalists involved. “While the ‘Rose Barbed Garden’ will be an obvious favourite with the attendees, others such as the ‘Vegetable Coil Garden’ and the ‘Ayurvedic Hook Garden’ will also draw the crowds” said Ms. Gracious, when BNR met her in a tent framed by coils of razor wire that she said will serve as her office for the duration of the exhibition.

“As a Westerner my first reaction to barbed wire was to feel repelled by it. But having seen how it is used so simply and sensitively even in the displacement camps run by the Government, I can see how it makes Sri Lankans across the island feel comfortable and at home. We Westerners might see it as incarceration, but I now know that for Sri Lankans it is about their home and culture” pointed out Ms. Gracious. The exhibition will include a barbed wire poruwa.

According the official sources the exhibition is meant to be part of a public relations exercise by the Government to clear up misunderstandings and false allegations about the camps, including that the liberated people of the Vanni are being detained by the Government.

Barbed Wire that will be on exhibit

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