Sri Lanka is a small island just off the southern tip of India, and surrounded by the Indian Ocean. There are many contrasts between its capital of Colombo, the isolated mountain villages and the large imperial cities worthy of UNESCO world heritage status.
Sri Lanka is known for its breathtaking landscapes, but also for its production of Ceylan tea which rejuvenated the mountains and changed the course of the country.
Sri Lanka, l'île radieuse, by Catherine Bourzat and Pierre Hausherr, Vilo.
This large photograph album from Pierre Hausherr will transport the reader to the heart of the Sri Lanka of today and yesterday. The photographer brings back magnificent snapshots of his many trips to Sri Lanka, which function as superb portraits of the inhabitants of the country and their humanity.
As she has travelled throughout Asia for 25 years, Catherine Bourzat is a specialist on this part of the world. In this work, she gives us an exploration of the country through its culture, its history and its religion.
This large-format album will provide the traveller with precise information on a historical country and an ancient culture.
The Forsaken Land by Vimukthi Kayasundara
This Franco-Sri Lankan film came out in 2006 and is one of the best works of Sri Lankan cinema. It won the Caméra d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005.
It tells the story of families of farmers living in a village during the civil war that ripped the country apart in 2009. It is a slow film, but all the hard work of the director can be found in the beauty of the shots and landscapes. It's an intimate film which attempts to understand the often complex relations between inhabitants of a small village in Sri Lanka.
The New Paradise: Sri Lanka.
A documentary directed by Salvatore Guadagnino and Pascal Sarragot which takes us right to the heart of the island of Sri Lanka by exploring the mountains and nature protection initiatives.
Not many native authors have had their works translated into English.
Michel Ondaatje is definitely the most famous writer from Sri Lanka. He is the author of The English Patient which enjoyed a cinematic adaptation recognised by the Oscars and the Césars. However, other books such as The Cat's Table and Anil's Ghost are also remarkable.
Romesh Gunesekera, a Sri Lankan living in London, is the author of Reef, from the Feathered Serpent. The novel tells the story of a small boy who is in the service of a rich man in the years before the civil war.
Similarly a tale of a journey, Le Poisson Scorpion by Nicolas Bouvier is also one to read. No introduction is needed for Nicholas Bouvier as he is well-known in the world of travel literature. His work Le Poisson Scorpion recounts the author's internal journey during his stay in Sri Lanka. He offers the reader a dark novel which tries to understand the condition of a traveller in the Far East. It is a must-read.