In the northern Sri Lankan city of Jaffna lies the coastal suburb Gurunagar—a fishing port with a reviving village culture.
Caught in the maelstrom of a violent civil war lasting over two decades, the population of Gurunagar suffered significantly and was evacuated in 1996. Reopened by authorities in 2010, the displaced people of Gurunagar are slowly returning to rebuild their lives and village.
Reclamation Road wraps the suburb’s sea boundary where painted wooden boats line the shore. Women line up to access water at communal taps and washing is hung among the remnants of ruined homes. The town is also a staging post for asylum seekers travelling by boats to new countries, another reminder of the human cost in war.
But the fishermen and their families are getting back to daily life—new homes are being established, children attend school and play marbles in the street and fishermen clean their nets after a long day’s catch. These images celebrate a bright and resilient spirit in the people of Gurunagar as they reclaim their tropical town.
In Issue No. 1 we meet Australian fashion icon Jenny Kee, translator from Italian Ann Goldstein and French-Cuban music duo Ibeyi. We learn about Ramadan, the Aboriginal ball game Marngrook, the Kiribati dance, the art of pickling, and the importance of home. And we see what it’s like to dress up in Myanmar, live in Cuernavaca, make ceramics from different soil, and walk the streets of Florence.
In Issue No. 2 we meet New York-based Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, NASA astronaut Stephanie Wilson, and Croatian painter Stipe Nobilo. We discover how the French protect their language and the way women—all around the world—have used textiles as their political voice. We listen to lovers rock, prepare a boisterous Korean barbecue, venture to go to Feria de Jerez and eat our way around Hong Kong.
In Issue No. 4 we meet Nigerian-born artist Toyin Ojih Odutola, Indigenous Australian Elders Uncle Bob Smith and Aunty Caroline Bradshaw, and Palestinian-American chef and artist Amanny Ahmad. We peer inside the Parisian ateliers Lesage and Lemarié, muse over the iconic lines of European chair design and celebrate the colourful woodblock prints of Japanese artist Awazu Kiyoshi. And we venture along Morocco’s Honey Highway, get lost in the markets of Oaxaca and discover the favours of Ghana.
In Issue No. 5 we travel to the mountains with Etel Adnan, along coastlines wherever waves roll in, and then all over the world through the photographic archive of Lindsay James Stanger. We celebrate hair braiding in South Africa, Salasacan weaving techniques in Ecuador, Vedic jewellery traditions and the new sound of Ukraine. We meet artist Cassi Namoda, choreographer Yang Liping and lace-maker Mark Klauber. And we visit a bakery in Tel Aviv, discover the joys of making arak, and spend a summer stretching mozzarella in Italy.