Corridors of Power

Drawing and modelling Sri Lanka’s tryst with democracy
corridors of power fnf sri lanka

Corridors of Power, an exhibition of select architectural drawings and models explored Sri Lanka's constitutional evolution. The exhibition aimed to trace Sri Lanka's constitutional reform in a pictorial manner. Led by the input of Asanga Welikala, in collaboration with Channa Daswatte, ‘Corridors of Power’ through architectural drawings and models, interrogated Sri Lanka’s constitutional evolution since 1972. Curated by Groundviews, the exhibition included large format drawings, 3D flyovers, sketches, and models reflecting the power dynamics enshrined in the Constitution. Covering the four corners of the island, the exhibition was organized in Kandy, Jaffna, Baticoloa and Galle.

“The Corridors of Power” is on the one hand an attempt at drawing and modelling Sri Lanka’s tryst with democracy and on the other hand a never before chance for an ordinary citizen to understand what is at stake. From international constitution building experts to students , from activists to academics, from legislators to corporate heads, from security guards to those simply passing by, everybody realized what a constitution is,  its enormity and the bearing it has on  the lives of citizens.

In a democracy, a citizen’s freedom largely depends on what is and what is not included in the constitution. The ignorance of what  the country’s constitution entails is  detrimental to  individual and collective freedom.  History has shown how ignorance and indifference of the constitution has given a carte blanche to rulers to veer away from the democratic path and  take away cardinal democratic principles.

A constitution is essentially a blueprint of power relations. Architecture – drawing, rendering and modelling – provides a blueprint of spatial relationships. “This exhibition is an innovative attempt to use the visual and spatial expression of architecture to depict the loci of power as enshrined in our constitution” remarked Sagarica Delgoda, Head of Country Office, FNF Sri Lanka.

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) proudly co-organized the project. It will soon be translated to Sinhala and Tamil to reach out to more people.