Becoming a World Class City: Impressions from Post-War Colombo

Abdul Halik Azeez
February 20, 2020

Abdul Halik Azeez is a visual artist based in Colombo Sri Lanka. His approach to image making embraces the public realms of media and print technology. An abiding quality across his practice is his ability to work with the pedestrian and mundane, making images that tell stories about poetic yet moving instances of the violence and truths of the everyday. Halik has worked as a journalist, economist and in the development-sector. He holds an MA in linguistics from the University of Granada and is known for his Instagram account (@colombedouin). Recently his work has been featured at Colomboscope 2019, Verzasca Foto Festival, 52 Artists 52 Actions, The Serendipity Arts Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe.


Symposium organised by Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational and Alserkal Arts Foundation in collaboration with Ishara Art Foundation.


This symposium brings together scholars and practitioners to discuss critical perspectives on shared histories, ongoing exchanges and rich interconnections across cities in South Asia, the Gulf and the wider region. We will look at the rapid growth of the city and its impact on artistic practice through the work of artists, architects, photographers, filmmakers and scholars whose research encompasses urban development from the 20th century to the present. Participants will share perspectives on cities and the representation of urban space, particularly in the visual arts, and how these contribute to and reflect on the complex and on-going making of place and identity.