It's difficult to convey the scale of this—I don't think we've even had a major general strike in forty years and that one was crushed so violently organized labour has been recovering ever since. The last really big nationwide hartal was nearly seventy years ago. So this is a very big deal.
Here in Sri Lanka, we had a massive nationwide general strike yesterday to pressure the president and prime minister into stepping down. Here are some pics from the protests. Every one of these photos is from yesterday and from a different town or city across the country.
Original pics and photographer credits can be found in these threads, along with many, many other images and video documenting the protests:
Hi new folks! Been here a while but haven't posted in uh, a couple of years apparently. Probably not gonna abandon Twitter this year (it's helping a lot with fundraising right now for the Sri Lankan crisis) but always glad to see more folks here. Hopefully these periodic exoduses will reach a tipping point.
Sri Lankan government detains young Muslim poet on bogus charges https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/12/21/ahna-d21.html
oh well at least it's not twitter threads amirite
I think I've successfully retrained myself away from doing too many political commentary threads on social media, but the (positive?) result is that I'm now doing more stuff like this: this week I made a whole poetry chapbook (which is, of course, full of political commentary) https://culmsheath.itch.io/ion-unnatural
I wrote a long, dense three-part essay about Sri Lanka, Sinhala Buddhist politics, and Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. It starts here: https://vajra.me/2019/12/31/abyss-brink-blood-and-dust-part-1-of-3/
I'm very happy with it: I was hoping that starting a Patreon would actually help me write more in-depth exploratory essays and it seems that this is working! How rare is it to plan something and then actually have it work?
Old unfinished drafts of stories that I hadn't worked on for a while tend to grow stale in my mind—I always remember them as being far more rough and unpromising than they actually are. But working on them again—almost always—reveals that it is only the memory that is stale. When the dry crust comes off the surface, underneath is sap still as liquid and fresh as the first day. It's just that if you don't go back to it you'll never find out.
The state of the world and the lubricated ease of social media together conspire to turn us all into (if not journalists per se) opinion columnists and unpaid political analysts, and I'm not sure how useful that even is as a contribution to (which, even?) public sphere, but I do know that living in it too long makes my throat feel dry.
I love Mandela Effects (basically weird mass false memories) and discovered only today that there is actually minor Mandela Effect about where Sri Lanka is—a surprising number of people seem to remember it being directly south of India, rather than off-center to the southeast https://mandelaeffect.com/sri-lanka-location/
I think the Supreme Court's bowing to majoritarian pressure on Ayodhya underscores more than ever the need to have broad, critical understandings of India's medieval history.
I'd like to contribute to the discourse with a bunch of photo essay-ish toots about the evolution of the myriad meanings of temples and idols - in particular, their meanings in warfare. What should I start with?
A spot of self-promotion:
My poem in the July-August issue of Poetry Magazine, here:
Writer, critic, and editor, mostly of speculative fiction, from Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The Wandering Shop is a Mastodon instance initially geared for the science fiction and fantasy community but open to anyone. We want our 'local' timeline to have the feel of a coffee shop at a good convention: tables full of friendly conversation on a wide variety of topics. We welcome everyone who wants to participate, so long as you're willing to abide by our code of conduct.