About Us

What is the New Social Imaginaries project?


“New Social Imaginaries” looks at the ways traditional arts and ritual are being used in Sri Lanka to respond to the war and provide communities with outlets for reflection and debate on social issues. Rather than seeing these practices as artifacts to be ‘preserved’ or displayed, this project treats these as examples of lived and living heritage. As a result, it explores how these practices can and are being used to resist and condemn Sri Lanka’s history of mass violence, provide ways for communities to come together, and empower marginalized groups. The project is designed as action research meaning it actively promotes community involvement and participation throughout. In doing this it focuses particularly on providing space for marginalized groups (women, low caste, indigenous and others). Finally, by incorporating other sectors of society (government, civil society, and international agencies) the project contributes to improving development practice and human rights advocacy.

Implementation Partners:

  • Goldsmiths College, University of London
  • Eastern University of Sri Lanka
  • Law and Society Trust, Sri Lanka

This research project is funded by the British Academy’s Sustainable Development Programme, supported under the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund.