VIDEO | 11:58
We Are Like Waves
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We Are Like Waves

‘We Are Like Waves’ is an intimate look into how surfing changes Sanu’s life, documenting the struggles and breakthroughs of becoming one of the first female Sri Lankan surfers.

In making this film, I did not want to fall victim to the white-savior complex, “saving” the women of Sri Lanka from the bounds of the patriarchy. It was important to me as a filmmaker to tell the authentic narrative of the female Sri Lankan surfer. Through our participatory approach, Sanu acted as a key crew member when the camera was off, helping us craft and refine her story with her own words and keeping the story true. We were merely the instruments to tell her story in a visual form.

The team spent 5 weeks in Weligama, Sri Lanka, and immersed ourselves in Sanu’s world. We laughed catching warm waves with her, ate food alongside her family, and saw with our own eyes the obstacles she has to face just because she loves to surf. Though I come from a privileged background compared to Sanu, we bonded over our mutual struggle to become female surfers. This story is not just Sanu’s, it is the story of most female surfers around the world.

“We Are Like Waves” aims to create a platform for deeper discussions around culture, gender and family expectations in the context of surfing. Bringing together women from different cultures, “We Are Like Waves” aims to connect women in sharing stories, experiences and resources to overcome the unique but similar barriers we face.