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.