Want a bit of Pecha – Kucha? Head to the Warehouse

By Namali Premawardhana

What do you say to a thousand people gathered together for an hour of inspiration-intake and passion driven Pecha Kucha? Inspiration and passion sound good, but pecha-what!?

Saskia Fernando (centre) addressing a news conference about the event flanked by fellow organisers Aravinda and Ayne. Pic by Mangala Weerasekera

Pecha-Kucha is the Japanese word for the sound of chit chat and Pecha-Kucha nights are now a world-wide phenomenon. Gatherings of thousands of people in over 100 cities witness presentations in the unique 20x20 format and use these presentations as points of departure for networking and discussion. Colombo will experience Sri Lanka’s first Pecha-Kucha Night, at 6 p.m. on July 23 at the Warehouse Project in Maradana. Tickets are priced at a nominal Rs. 100 as the organizers are interested mostly in accessibility.

The first four Pecha-Kucha Nights will take place in Colombo within this year, and depending on “how fast it catches on” the programme will hopefully spread to other cities across the island (starting probably with Galle and Jaffna). Organizers are already working closely with undergraduates within the local university system in order to make this dream of branching out a reality.

For starters, Pecha-Kucha Night will feature eight hand-picked presenters (designers, artists, photographers etc.) who will stand and describe their work using 20 slides, with 20 seconds on each. The format, developed by Klein Dytham Architecture in Tokyo in 2003, is perfect for giving many people light-space as well as making sure that the audience is not driven to boredom by long harangues.
The fact that the main medium is visual is a huge plus-point since it allows people in multi-lingual cultures such as ours to overcome language barriers as they display and discuss their creativity.

Saskia Fernando, team coordinator for Pecha-Kucha Colombo promises that the atmosphere will be relaxed and casual and encourages everyone to just come in “jeans and rubber slippers” and have a good time.

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