A Photo Essay on Sinhala poet Ariyawansa’s "An das ständig lächelnde Mädchen”
නිතර ම සිනාසෙන යුවතියකට

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බර නැද්ද 
වෙස් මූණ?

The photo essay is based on the poem නිතර ම සිනාසෙන යුවතියකට / AN DAS STÄNDIG LÄCHELNDE MÄDCHEN
by Ari/Ariyawansa Ranaweera

The Mask: Ari managed to say in a mere five words what many others have attempted to say for years with lengthy narratives. "We wear masks that become weighty burdens to maintain at the cost of ourselves." How was I to depict this? Using a real mask wouldn’t have done it justice. People don’t physically wear masks, instead they show different versions of their faces, different emotions than what they are feeling to the rest of the world. Think Eleanor Rigby and the face she kept in a jar by the door.

I saw it as two-faced; a person with one face depicting their true selves and another weightier version almost slipping away. The only way to do this was to play with exposure, literally with my camera to metaphorically depict the exposed reality. This is the result.

Natalie Soysa
January 2016, Colombo