The Ballet School of Colombo, September 2022.

• 72mm • f/4 • 1/80 • ISO1000 • Canon R6 & RF 24-105/4L courtesy Canon/Metropolitan.

• 24mm • f/4 • 1/125 • ISO400 •


Enslaved in Slave Island #7
Shaniya Elayan, programme coordinator, at the National STD/AIDS Control Programme (NSACP) clinic tending to needle users in Slave Island. Shot on assignment for Panos Pictures and The Global Fund, in January 2022.

• 50mm • f/1.4 • 1/250 • ISO200 • 5DMkIV & EF 50/1.4, courtesy Canon/Metropolitan.

Chief Tech
SAH Attanayake, the senior medical laboratory technologist, at the National STD/AIDS Control Programme (NSACP), De Saram Place, Maradana. Shot on assignment for Panos Pictures and The Global Fund, in January 2022.

• 50mm • f/4 • 1/320 • ISO400 • 5DMkIV & EF 50/1.4, courtesy Canon/Metropolitan.

The Rank and File of the Revolution
Galle Face Green, Colombo. 9th July 2022. Hundreds of thousands of protestors march in support of the demand that Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapakse resign. Accused of corruption and ineptness, and causing the greatest economic disaster in the country’s recorded history, Rajapakse would flee to the Maldives four days later.

• 200mm • f/5.6 • 1/1000 • ISO400 •

Generation Go
Young protestors in Colombo call for the resignation of Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapakse and his entire cabinet, blaming the country’s crippling energy crisis on the leadership’s ineptitude and corruption. 4th April 2022. Calling the protestors ‘extremists’, Rajapakse clamped down a 36-hour curfew on the weekend, and blocked social media and chat apps. When this failed to stop widespread demonstrations, the president announced a cabinet reshuffle, only to face enraged protestors on Monday and Tuesday who are refusing to accept anything short of a complete change of government.

Patient Impatience
Korolawalla Railway Station, Panadura. Shot in September 2017, for ‘The Connected Sri Lankan’, a collaborative study by J Walter Thompson and TNS Kantar on how Sri Lankans engage with the internet.

Telugu palm reader, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. December 2016. South Indian in origin, and genetically linked to the famed Romani tribes of Europe, the Telugu are Sri Lanka’s only true nomadic people; numbering around 4,000 at the time this photo was taken.

Weighing In
Tea pluckers stand in line to have their first pick of the day weighed on a tea plantation in Bagawantalawa, in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka, in February 2014. Each basketload is, on average, 6kg, with the woven bamboo basket itself weighing a couple of kilos. Each tea plucker is expected to pick around 18kg for her daily wage, and is paid extra for anything over the standard. The best can pick as much as 40kg a day. The women, most of South Indian Tamil ethnicity, wear traditional saris to work, with a further wrap of heavier cloth around their lower bodies to protect them from the tough tea bushes and biting insects. Younger tea pluckers can often be seen wearing T-shirts instead of the traditional sari blouse. The long blue and white measuring sticks are laid across the tea bushes to make sure the picking stays level and even. The poles also aid balance on the steep hills and can double as weapons against snakes and scorpions sheltering in the shade beneath the bushes. Most of these women will work on one plantation all of their lives, beginning at the age of sixteen and continuing well into their fifties, picking the Ceylon Tea that goes into the world’s most famous brands.

Tea Pluckers, Central Highlands, Sri Lanka
Baskets of tea hanging from their heads, a group of tea pluckers bring in the first pick of the morning for weighing. The best tea pluckers can each pick 30-40kg of green tea leaves a day. Bagawantalawa, February 2014.