There are plenty of books, blogs, and guides out there that provide details on what a visitor “should” see when they arrive in Colombo. This book does not include those places. Instead, this book explores the small streets and neighborhoods, including a few that have since been “redeveloped”, and provides the viewer with images of what Colombo is like for the average resident.

The photography included in this book has been chastised on social media for making Colombo look “poor” and not providing enough pictures of the “fancy” and “better” places in the city. What’s peculiar is that the people criticizing this photography don’t live in Colombo. They’ve almost always been the children of Sri Lankan parents who fled the war for more stable environments overseas. In fact, Sri Lankan friends in Colombo – of varied social standing – appreciate this photography and the people I encountered while out photographing were friendly, helpful, and welcoming. They were not embarrassed about where they lived and I had no problems photographing anyone or anything.

It is very difficult to describe the sense of community one feels walking or passing through many of Colombo’s neighborhoods and with Colombo changing so dramatically, it is hoped that this sense of community remains, as it is truly marvelous.

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