Sri Lanka's long civil war (1983-2009) resulted in large-scale personal, physical and social trauma. It led to a large number of deaths and many people became disabled due to the war. Disabled people in Sri Lanka are often marginalized and excluded from the public sphere. Whilst there are initiatives to support disabled people from both the State and Non- Governmental Organisations, support often adopts a charity-based approach which has been criticised for contributing to marginalisation and the dependency of disabled people on other people and organisations. Performing Empowerment (2016-18) was a research project that responded to this context by seeking to examine whether combining dance workshops with human rights education might lead to greater legal empowerment for disabled people in Sri Lanka. In this paper, I reflect on the experiences of five Tamil women who took part in the project, outlining how they gained confidence and rights awareness which enabled them to self-advocate and make changes to their everyday lives, demonstrating increased legal empowerment. I argue that this change arose in part through different forms of performance that they experienced within the workshops, which enabled a series of transportations from their daily lives.
Bibliographical noteCopyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.
- Legal empowerment
- Sri Lanka
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts