C-type photographs

Private collection, Colombo

First exhibited: ‘Afterlife’, Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2016

Mullivaikkal, located in the northeast of Sri Lanka is a coastal shoreline often synonymous with the final stages of the civil war, where Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels fought their last stand before being defeated by the Sri Lankan army in May 2009. It is estimated that somewhere between 40–70,000 civilians died in the last months of fighting within Mullivaikkal. Machado’s work corresponds to the global positioning system (GPS) coordinates for the shoreline in Mullivaikkal, where the artist found the photo albums depicted in the 14 photographs. In contrast to the GPS coordinates that record absolute time and location, a photograph from a family album records the memory of time passing, as it imprints itself in the form of an image onto a material surface. This work grapples with the camera’s intrusion in the aftermath of trauma and how memories, along with events, and present inconvenient truths over time.