Taking Sri Lanka’s current political crisis as well as its varied history of democracy as a case, this workshop provided a forum for critical and comparative reflection on postcolonial theories of democracy, electoral politics and political dissent beyond the Sri Lankan case. The term “cultural life” starts from the supposition that the cultural is often a site of political struggle, but also, that politics develops a cultural life of itself: in the events it celebrates, the rituals it performs, the narratives it produces and the mundane practices it follows in the everyday. Studying how exactly these different modes of political conduct are mobilized and negotiated gives us an insight into “actually existing politics” (Spencer 2007: 177).
Völkerkundemuseum Zürich, 3 and 4 November 2022
Organisers: Harshana Rambukwella and Benedikt Korf
Photos by Harshana Rambukwella