When I met Sisira last year, I immediately knew we would become good friends. I stumbled across the small shanty settlement in Colombo 13 by accident. As a photographer and explorer, I naturally walked through the small settlement that is located along abandoned railway tracks and that’s where I met Sisira. He approached me and wanted to know who I was and what I was doing. He invited me to his home and we got to know each other a bit more. Over the following months I kept returning, documenting his family and the residents with my camera.
When I returned to Sri Lanka this year and started working for Roar, I knew I wanted to do a short documentary on him, showing how he lived and worked. It is important to see all the different means of livelihood people engage in and how different people from different backgrounds go through their day and life.
Sisira works at a wholesale vegetable and fruit shop in Manning market, Pettah.
Since he gets up every morning at 2:30 a.m., with only four to five hours of sleep, I decided to go stay the night at his house with his family. He happily invited me and was a great host. His wife cooked one of the best Sri Lankan meals I have had here.
In my short film, I hoped to capture not only Sisira’s day, but also the character of Pettah and the people that work there. Manning market in Pettah is bustling with life and interesting people and there is always something going on.