A day of sparking conversation and changing perceptions on 26 January at Trace Expert City
In a country that thrives on diversity and differences, many topics of conversation are whispered in hushed tones, swept under the carpet, and never see the light of day.
There are battles that we all face on a day to day basis from cyber bullying to mental health issues to street harassment, but because of the ‘forbidden’ nature of these topics of conversation, they’re often forced into the darker parts of society, masked in silence rather than vocalised.
The internet may be slowly changing these perceptions and bringing to light rather pressing issues that form the foundation of a society but an online existence is too little for understanding to survive.
Introducing Taboo 2019 organised by Pulse and Aura India, a day of sparking conversation and changing perceptions, to be held on 26 January at Trace Expert City, Colombo 10. Aiming to break the barriers we have set for ourselves, and cross all boundaries in the name of inclusion, Taboo brings to the forefront topics that have been kept under wrap for far too long.
Ranging from gender-based violence to zero-waste menstruation to internalised misogyny, Taboo will address the unfathomable, the unspoken, and the “ugly truth”, all spearheaded by experts in each industry. Throughout the day, the public can attend panel discussions, workshops and demonstrations centred on the following themes:
- Wrap-it-up: Panel Discussion on Contraception & Pre-marital Sex – Thushara Agus, Family Planning Association, 10-10:30 a.m.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases & Getting Tested: A Guide – Princy Mangalika, The Positive Women’s Network; National STD/AIDS Control Programme, 10:45-11:15 a.m.
- Flying the Rainbow Flag: Panel Discussion Homosexuality and Gender Identification – Brandon Ingram, Actor and Author; Aritha Wickramasinghe, iProbono; Dinesh Chandrasena, 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
- Cyber bullying and The Sri Lankan Nude Photo Culture – Sharanya Sekaram, Grassrooted, 12:30-1 p.m.
- Domestic Violence and Gender Based Violence: Conceptualisation & Legal Advice – Harshana Nanayakkara and Shevon Fernando, 1:15-1:45 p.m.
- Ending Corporal Punishment: How and Why – Dr. Tush Wickramanayaka, stopchildcruelty.com, 2-2:45 p.m.
- Breaking the Taboo around Feminism: A panel discussion – Selyna Pieris, Selyn; Sheshadri Kottearachchi, Oxfam Sri Lanka; Sharanya Sekaram, Grassrooted, 3-3:30 p.m.
- Not Your Nangi presents Street Harassment Hurts – Nabeela Yasseen, Not Your Nangi, 3:45-4:15 p.m.
- Boys Will Be Boys: Voices of Humans – Kapila Rasnayaka, Voices of Humans, 4:30-5 p.m.
- Zero-waste Menstruation: Demo & Discussion – Happy Bleeding by Nadeesha Paulis, 5:15-5:45 p.m.
- Taking care of your Mental Health: Panel Discussion – Nathali Devinka, Author; Ranil Thilakaratne, CCC Line; Nivendra Uduman, Footsteps to Freedom, 6-6:45 p.m.
A myriad of different fringe activities are to be organised throughout the day for all age groups including a Book Bees gathering with Maria Jayakody for the kids and a Sips and Dips Weekly Paint Night for the adults, all ending in an evening of song, poetry and expression thanks to an Open MicNight organised by To Always.
Taboo 2019 is an ideal event to broaden one’s horizons and expand as a society, enriched with cultural and moral understanding. Entrance is free so be sure to drop by and #BreakTheTaboo. For more information visit pulse.lk/TabooSL.