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The flair of creativity, spotlighting the unseen

“Photography is an art of freezing the beauty of reality.”

In our day-to-day life we meet plenty of people who are unique from one another but when the question “why are they different”  is raised, there can be different answers from different perspectives. There is something unique which can be a skill or a talent of a person which makes him or her unique. It’s always difficult for a person to find what he or she is good at. It’s always been a mystery for few and many have found and succeeded in what they are good at. This project is also one such project which focuses on bringing out the talent in a person. When emphasizing talent, there are various genres of talent. The art of Photography and Creative Writing were the segments that were selected as the foundation of project Click. Two wonderful elements which describe a person’s perspective in two diverse ways, but the common thing is that it conveys a message to the dear world.

The Editorial Avenue is also one of the behind scenes avenues which put a tremendous effort in showing the passion and commitment of the club through the art of words. This project was initiated by the Editorial Avenue upon appointing the organizing committee. During the first OC meetup which was held on 24th September 2022, the Senior Editor of the Club Rtr. Rahma Zuhri, who was overlooking the OC, gave an introduction about the project. The OC was given the platform to discuss and develop the project idea. And since then with the effort and commitment of the members an extraordinary project was to be brought into reality.

The project was titled CLICK and was constructed in three phases. Phase one was to conduct a photography competition under two main themes which are social issues and environmental issues. The two themes were built with the idea of focusing on Sustainable Development Goals. The objective of the phase was to collect submissions from enthusiastic photographers which depict the unseen and developing segments of the community and nature. 

Phase two was a Creative Writing Competition for enthusiastic writers and creators. Phase two was a continuation of phase one, meaning; the writing competition was based on the best 3 photographs selected under each category of the photography competition. The writers were given the freedom to write about any photograph among the selected top six. Writers were encouraged to present any form of creative writing including a poem, article, short story, descriptive articles, etc. in either English, Sinhala, or Tamil which removed the barrier of language showcasing the flair of creativity. 

Phase three was an informative online session based on photography which extended the knowledge of young photographers.

Finally, the winners were to be felicitated in an awarding ceremony. 

The organizing committee proceeded with a clear-cut idea of focusing on the SDG’s. After the first OC meetup, the organizing committee began work. The first decision was to come up with a striking logo and a project name. After discussions, the project was titled CLICK and the project logo was created and finalized. Then the OC proceeded with the PR timeline. The flyers were sent out in purple and jade-themed and using realistic backgrounds. The PR campaign started in September, with the introduction flyer and then a video was shared providing a glimpse of the project. The Photography competition was conducted under two categories: environmental issues and social issues. The commencement of the Photography Competition was announced on 12th October 2022 and submissions were closed on the 28th of October 2022. There were about 75+ heartfelt photographs which showcased segments that needed immense attention. Mr. Amal Parsad, Photographer and award winner was the honorable judge who evaluated the outstanding submissions received. 

As the Creative Writing Competition was connected to phase one, the crew executed phase three of the project which was the Online Webinar on Photography while the photographs were being evaluated. The announcement about the session on photography was sent out on 6th of November. The Webinar on Photography was conducted on the 20th of November from 7:30p.m. onwards via Zoom by Mr. Harsha Maduranga who is a Sri Lankan Photographer, Lecturer, Trainer, Photography Judge & Writer. The session began at 7.15 p.m. with 100+ participants from different Rotaract clubs, schools and universities joining the session. The moderator of the session Rtr. Senara Sudusinghe addressed the gathering and officially handed the session to Mr. Harsha. The session was indeed interesting, and the resource person provided immense insights and knowledge on what photography is, the history of photography, how to operate a camera, how to take accurate photographs using a camera and many more learnings expanding the understanding of participants. Mr. Harsha provided an opportunity to win a scholarship, to anyone willing to further study on photography which was based on a Q & A session. The interaction of the participants was kept throughout the session. The session ended with the vote of thanks delivered by the Co-chair of the project, Rtr. Kandakumar Gangadaran. Phase three of project Click was indeed a great success which was evident by the continuous positive feedback received by the participants.

The Top 6 best photographs were announced under two categories and along with that the Top 10 photographers were announced for the upcoming awarding ceremony. After the announcement of the winners of the photography competition phase two which was the Creative Writing Competition commenced. The creative writing competition was based on the best 3 photographs under the environmental category and the best 3 photographs under the social category. The creative writing competition was judged by three honorable judges. The English creative writings were judged by Miss. Nilupama Wrickamage, Lecturer – Department of English Language Teaching of the University of Kelaniya, the Sinhala creative writings were judged by Mr.Tharindu Dhananjaya, Senior Lecturer – Department of Human Resource Management of the University of Kelaniya and the Tamil creative writings were judged by Rtr. Kawshi Yogarajah, Joint Editor of the District Steering Committee of the Rotaract in Rotary International District 3220. Every piece of writing inherited a unique essence of creativity that spoke out the meaning of the photographs in a unique way.

Global Guidance Education Consultancy joined hands with Team Click as the official Title Partner extending their fullest support to make the event a success.

The Click Awarding Ceremony was to be held to felicitate the winners of phase one and phase two. The ceremony was held on the 18th of December 2022 at the Main Auditorium of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Kelaniya from 10 a.m. onwards. 

On the 18th of December 2022 at 10 a.m. the Click Awarding Ceremony commenced with the participation of distinguished guests. The Chief Guest for the Awarding Ceremony, Mr. Sagar De Lakmal – Managing Director & Director of Photography of Media Ambassadors Professional Photographers of America (PPA) was escorted by Rtr. Kandakumar Gangadaran. The Guest of Honour Rtn. IPDRC. Marshad Barry, The honorable Judges of the Photography and Creative Writing Competitions, Miss. Yanishi Pinto – Lecturer of the Department of English Language Teaching of the University of Kelaniya, Rtr. Afkar Saleem, Rtr. Randima Fernando the Joint Editors of the District Steering Committee of the Rotaract in Rotary International District 3220 and Rtr. Dinithi Randeniarachchi Joint Director – PR of the District Steering Committee of the Rotaract in Rotary International District 3220, Mr. Nashif Razzak the Chief Executive Officer, Miss. Thasbiha Adham HR and Client Relationship Manager, Mr. Razan Thaus Business Development Manager, and Mr. Ashik Yusuf Marketing Manager of Global Guidance Education Consultancy honored the ceremony with their presence. 

The hosts of the day Rtr. Adeesha Abeydheera and Rtr. Senara Sudasinghe officially commenced the Click Award Ceremony. The ceremony began with the lighting of the lamps by the distinguished guests. The ceremony was enlightened by the pooja dance performed by Rtr. Ishara Gunarathna, Team Leader of the Editorial Avenue which was followed by the welcome speech delivered by Rtr. Santusha Siriwardena, Co-Chair of the project Click. To entertain the crowd Rtr. Vihanga Amaranath performed a beautiful song adding in the essence of music to the event.

The winners, top 10 photographers and writers and the most enthusiastic photographers and writers were awarded for their creativity and enthusiasm to create a change with their skills. Under the environment category the first place was secured by Miss. Sherin De Silva, the second place was secured by Mr. Gavesh Bandara and the third place was secured by Mr. Chamindu Sanuka. Under the social category, the first place was secured by Mr. Hashan Alkegama, the second place was secured by Mr. Lasantha Fonseka and the third place was secured by Miss. Harshanika Ranasinghe. The first place of the Creative Writing Competition – English was secured by Timothy Sedra for ‘Poverty’s Prestige’, the second place was secured by Vinuki Wijethunga for ‘Dear Peacock’ and third place was secured by Mubeena Barry for ‘So Many Like Me’. The first place of the Creative Writing Competition – Sinhala was secured by Tharushi Somarathna for ‘අකුරු’ (Akuru), the second place was secured by Hansini Dambadeniya for ‘තෙල් සායම’ (Thel Sayama) and the third place was secured by Anushka Senavirathne for ‘වසන්තයේ එක් දිනයක’ (Wasanthey Ek Dinayaka). The first place of the Creative Writing Competition – Tamil was secured by Bavadaarini Suthakaran for ‘வெடத்தின் வேடம்’ (Vedathin Vedam), the second place was secured by Merlin Brownson Beskey for ‘வாழ்வொளிக்கான தேடல்’ (Valvolikana Thedal) and the third place was secured by Jayaneesan Rajeswaran for ‘நீயே ஒளி’ (Neeye Oli). The winners were facilitated with a medal along with a certificate. Additionally, the winning articles were published in the official Blog page of the Rotaract Club of University of Kelaniya.

Additionally a small contest was open to all the participants to engage in during the event which was a photography contest in which the participants had to take a picture while bring seated and send it to the Organizing Committee Member assigned. The photographs were handed over to Mr. Sagara De Lakmal and Mr. Amal Prasad for evaluation and the winner was selected.

The agenda also included addressing by the dignitaries who provided their insights and appreciation towards Click.

The tokens of appreciation were presented to the dignitaries by Rtr. Manula Pethiyagoda President of the Rotaract Club of University of Kelaniya. Moving ahead the Organizing committee was appreciated for the tremendous support and the hard work they put into the project to make it a success. The Click Awarding Ceremony officially was officially concluded with the vote of thanks being delivered by Rtr. Kandakumar Gangadaran Co-Chair of project Click, extending gratitude to all the pillars who supported holding Click high. The hosts called off the day and the ceremony ended with a lot of smiles and appreciation. 

The amazing journey of Click which was able to felicitate young talent for their outstanding creativity while spotlighting the impact that these arts of photography and writing can bring upon to create a better tomorrow was finally concluded. Indeed, CLICK was an endeavor of immense experiences, memories, felicitations, appreciations and most importantly an endeavor of accomplishing social responsibility. 

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