AtapattuWalawwa, is a conceptual and visual tour of a heritage monument and of some of the people who built it and lived in it over a period of more than 200 years. Interweaving twin stories, one architectural,the other socio-historical,thevisual and textual narrative makes a coherent cultural statement. It imaginatively reconstructs aspects of past ways of life as embodied in architectural and other artifacts, and tracks a combination of tradition and modernity, a creative ‘hybridity', that marks the evolution of Sri Lankan culture as it finds its way in the modern era. The evocation of external forms, interior spaces and living environments of a beautifully preserved southern walawwa is enriched by a description of the life of one of its most distinguished occupants, a feudal-colonial official, an intrepid Pali scholar with many editions and translations of classic texts to his name and a prolific diarist, who played a little-known but key role in the Buddhist revival. The strands of the narrative are deeply rooted in national history,climaxing in a particular contribution to the national resurgence of the latter half of the19th and the early 20th century.
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