- Moving from fear to love using participative public art
From 1 to 5 April, Sisterhood Initiative, together with international organisation The Fearless Collective, launched their collaborative project in creating a street mural dedicated to showcasing women and their collective strengths. The project which was originally scheduled to be wound up on Monday (4) was extended to yesterday (5), owing to the prevailing situation of the country.
The Sisterhood Initiative is a non-profit, non-political, and non-religious discussion and volunteer group dedicated towards creating safe spaces for Muslim women and girls to come together to share experiences, engage in curated discussions, and find a sense of community among each other.
Their partners in the current project, The Fearless Collective, which was founded by Shilo Shiv Suleman – a Bengaluru-based artist – is an organisation that creates public art interventions with women and misrepresented communities across the world. They’ve been involved in creating beautiful pieces of art that are displayed as a mural on a wall in a public space in many countries around the world.
To date, The Fearless Collective has co-created 38 murals with communities in over 10 countries including India, Pakistan, Lebanon, Brazil, and Tunisia. Their work has addressed issues ranging from sexual violence and gender identity to women’s rights, and has highlighted indigenous peoples, refugees, and members of the transgender community, among others.
The project started as a way to encourage more women to tell their stories and heal through their shared experiences. However, the movement has evolved into a massive collective made up of hundreds of artists who aim to “create space to move from fear to love using participative public art”.
Speaking to The Sisterhood Initiative Finance and Administration LeadAngela Forman, she shared that during their visit to Colombo, The Fearless Collective worked with artists from Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka and they conducted a short, intensive artist residency in order to create the two public murals – one at Salvation Army Territorial Headquarters and the other at Rio Cinema.
She noted that these murals were painted in partnership with other local community partners, in addition to Sisterhood Initiative, like the We Are From Here project which works with members of the Slave Island community.
Forman further shared that the murals reflect themes of self-representation, interfaith, and cross-border solidarity, and what it looks like to build safe, inclusive, feminist spaces. She noted that during the artist’s residency, they conducted workshops where local community partners were able to share ideas and build the murals’ themes and concepts together.
She said that they were able to come up with an overarching theme which focused on women, concentrating on the primary theme of sisterhood. She added that their overall aim is to empower people, especially women, and unite communities through the expression of art. Through this mural, she shared that they hope to create a safe and inclusive space for all women in Sri Lanka.
To stay updated when locations of the mural sites are announced, visit:
To find out more about Sisterhood Initiative, visit: