Iffat Fatima and Lisa Kois


Sri Lanka

Iffat Fatima and Lisa Kois worked as filmmakers on a "pro-peace and anti-war documentary project focusing on the stories of people that give expression to the larger narratives of peace and war. In their application, they wrote that their work "will look at the ways in which those affected by conflict have no choice but to remember, while exploring the ways in which they remember through storytelling, art, symbol and ritual. Both the process of undertaking the journey and the film itself are intended to stimulate dialogue within and between communities that have been separated by geographic, linguistic and ethnic differences, as well as to stimulate dialogue with and between parties to the conflict."

Lisa is a peacebuilding practitioner, human rights lawyer, legal researcher and writer. Iffat is a filmmaker and cultural researcher. During the course of and after the fellowship program, they produced two films based on stories they collected from people in Sri Lanka.

Iffat's film Lanka: The Other Side of War and Peace traverses the northern and southern landscape of Sri Lanka. The film, spanning the history of the last three decades of violence in Sri Lanka, juxtaposes the multiple realities of war and peace that simultaneously exist there from the perspective of those who have suffered through this violence and experienced great loss. Since its completion in May 2005, the film has been extensively screened in South Asia including several cities in India, Pakistan, and Bangladash. The film has also been screened in the United States and Ireland. kois

Lisa's film The Art of Forgetting attempts to shatter the silence and statistical anonymity that characterizes the dominant discourses of war by telling the personal stories of the people whose lives have been altered by war and political violence. Woven into the story of a journey from the northern-most tip of Sri Lanka to the southern-most tip are stories of people met along the way. It is an epic tale of war and peace, embodied in the simple stories of those who have survived to tell. The film is being used by organizations throughout Sri Lanka to stimulate dialogue on issues of past political violence, memory and peace.