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Shalini a ganendra

Veins of Influence

Colonial Sri Lanka (Ceylon) in early photographs and collections

Unveiling hidden treasures of colonial sri lanka

Ganendra presents over 450 unseen early photographs of colonial Sri Lanka, offering a fresh glimpse into the nation’s past through prestigious collections.

From renowned institutions to local archives

The book showcases images from globally recognized institutions like the Royal Collection Trust and Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum, alongside cherished photographs from local family archives and periodicals.

A multifaceted exploration for all audiences

Designed for both experts and enthusiasts, the publication delves deep into the nuances of colonial imagery, blending visual splendor with insightful analysis, and inviting readers to engage with the personal stories behind each photograph.

Veins of influence shalini ganendra


Veins of InfluenceColonial Sri Lanka (Ceylon) in Early Photographs and Collections – unveils rare, unseen photos of colonial Sri Lanka, weaving them into the global tapestry of photography. Ganendra delves into over 450 captivating images from prestigious collections like the Royal Collection Trust, Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum, and more. This book not only showcases the photos but also tells the stories of the collectors, bridging the past with the present. Dive in to explore both renowned UK and cherished local Sri Lankan collections.

“The originality of her approach is to emphasize the role played by ‘influencers’ as intermediary shapers and distributors of the emerging vision of the new colony.”

– Christopher Phillips

Former Senior Curator, International Center of Photography, New York City


Shalini Amerasinghe Ganendra’s impact on cultural development has been defined by nearly three decades of cultural programming including exhibition and scholarship, with notable focus on Sri Lanka. Through specific multi-disciplinary projects, including founding the cultural marquee the Gallery Weekend Kuala Lumpur, the Vision Culture Artist Residency Programme and the UNESCO Observatory endorsed Vision Culture Lectures, she has worked to bring into the global creative discourse, the creative practises and histories of understudied regions. She has pioneered exhibitions of and programmes on Sri Lankan art in Malaysia, the USA and UK.

Ganendra read law at Cambridge University (1987) and qualified as a Barrister and New York Attorney. She was the first Sri Lankan to be a member of the Tate Gallery (UK) Acquisitions Committee (SAAC) and has served on numerous judging panels including for the Commonwealth Arts Award and as a nominator for the Sovereign Art Prize and Aga Khan Architecture Awards. She was most recently a Chevening Fellow at Oxford and has held numerous visiting positions at the University of Oxford, including at: the History of Art Department, St. Catherine’s College and the Pitt Rivers Museum.


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Neptune Publications is excited to present this book by the remarkable Shalini Amerasinghe Ganendra. A beacon in cultural development, Shalini’s work has uniquely spotlighted Sri Lanka on the global stage. From pioneering Sri Lankan art exhibitions worldwide to her influential roles at Cambridge, Oxford, and the Tate Gallery, her legacy is profound. With her rich tapestry of achievements, this publication promises to be an enlightening journey.

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