Learning, sharing, healing, and co-living 

  • House of Kal Colombo – Open House 

“House of Kal Colombo” is the Sri Lankan iteration of the larger “House of Kal”, which consists of Colombo and also “House of Kal Karachi” and “House of Kal Berlin”.  It is a gathering of artists and writers from South Asia, the South Asian diaspora, and post-migrant Europe which unfolds in multiple strands including a series of publications, a DIY radio channel called radio kal, and the aforementioned three Houses of Kal – Colombo, Karachi, and Berlin. 

Speaking to House of Kal Colombo Curator Sandev Handy, he shared that the initiative brings together art practitioners whose work explores “feminist, anti-fascist, anti-racist, and queer possibility.” He provided that the Houses of Kal are conceived as a low-residency programme with a public programming and publishing outlet as well as a collective and self-organised space in the making.

Sandev stated that the residents have been working in collaboration for the past six months in putting this together, and in talking about what guests can expect – it would be art in the making (artists’ works in progress, drafts, etc.), collective discussions, talks, and film screenings that which form a constellation of feminist infrastructures for transdiciplinary and collaborative art practices and alternative pedagogies. He said that it is to be differentiated from an art show.

Introducing the residents:

Sabeen Omar

Sabeen Omar – an artist based in Colombo. She is deeply inspired by textiles, a motif that recurs often in her work. Her current body of work is a series of drawings, scrapings, and cuttings found on boxes and wrappers. 

Vicky Shahjehan

Vicky Shahjehan – a queer activist and an artist from Slave Island. Vicky’s work is mostly focused on feminism, freedom, gender rights, and marginalised communities. Vicky uses henna in her practices to express challenging and diverse series of women and the LGBTQ community. She is also part of the community project “We Are From Here” in Colombo. 

Vasi Samudra Devi

Vasi Samudra Devi – a transgender woman/non-binary femme-presenting person with a love of poetry, performance, working in many intermingled styles and artistic traditions, from surreal and contemporary storytelling to natural history and palaeontology. She is currently after a BA in Humanities and English from the University of Peradeniya, and works as a freelance illustrator and artist.

Chathuri Nisansala

Chathuri Nisansala – she holds a Masters in Visual Arts (painting) from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara Gujarat, India (2019). She is a multidisciplinary artist working with performance art, painting, sculpture, and print. Her works raise poignant questions about notions of gender, class, and nationalism in Sri Lanka.

Hema Shironi Joseph

Hema Shironi Joseph – a visual artist who acquired her BFA from Ramanathan in Fine Arts Academy, Jaffna and an MA in Art and Design in BeaconHouse National University in Pakistan. Her practice involves intricate embroideries that engage with the formation, preparation, and experience of identity.

Veenadari Lakshika Jayakody

Veenadari Lakshika Jayakody – an ensemble-based physical-theatre devising artist, actor-creator, educator, dancer, choreographer, mask performer, and a clown who had been working in theatre and film since 2009, as well as creating original works. She has worked in productions across Sri Lanka, the US, and India.

Speaking further about the event, Sandev added: “The Houses of Kal summon a multiplicity of approaches to learning, sharing, healing, and co-living as a collaborative practice with the aim of fostering community and solidarity, locally and across borders”, sharing also that: “The Houses gathers and co-produces discourse and praxis at the crossings of art-making, feminisms, and eco-politics with an emphasis on collaboration and care for each other’s practices”.

Sandev shared that the Houses of Kal in Colombo is co-initiated by Aziz Sohail and The Many Headed Hydra, adding that: “This trans-oceanic platform is a collaboration with District-School Without Centre, Archive Books, and Zubaan Books, supported by the Goethe-Institut South Asia, the Department for Culture and Europe in the Berlin Senate, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.”

“We welcome you to climb down into our space and meet us where we are,” he concluded.

The House of Kal Colombo – Open House will be held from 20-26 October, and is open from 2 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. to the public. Register for the event at


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