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Informal Slums

When do you call a slum a slum and when do you call it an informal settlement?

Does it depend on which continent you are on or it is dependent on the size?

Sri Lanka is not known for poverty in the way that India or many African countries are – but it does have it’s own issues with many small settlements where families have been living for decades.

The standard of the average Sri Lankan slum is quite high due to their small size and therefore they are controlled as small communities by the families that live in them.

However, they still have people living in structures that fall down in high winds and flood in heavy rains and have dirt floors and no electricity, drainage or running water.

It would appear that now that the war in the country is over (or at least quiet for the time being), that some money can go towards building public housing and finally provide these families with somewhere to live.

Having said all of this, if you are in Sri Lanka and need a fix on meeting happy, optimistic and really friendly people – then go to a slum and that is where you will find them.

You will probably also find that with little time and effort that there is something you can do for the people that will help them and bring a smile to their faces.

I should also mention that this film was a gift from a friend in Sweden who keeps a blog at – and is a massively expired Ektachrome 200 that I ran at 100 ISO on the camera and crossed.

These pictures were taken at the end of the day as the sun was setting and so it is great that the film retained so much colour and crossed with only the normal amount of grain.

Go and check out Darko’s blog though as he is another fan of film and posts great pictures of his family and life in Sweden.

Posted by simon on April 11, 2011
3 Comments Post a comment
  1. 04/11/2011

    WOW!! Really nice pictures Simon. It feels like I am there and seeing this with my own eyes. I think you should go for a full time career as an photographer…

    The grain is perfect and I think you got the recipe by exposuring the film as 100 instead of the originall iso at 200. Perfect!!!

    Your pictures and your presence there gave them the smile, that I think will last for a long time.

    • 04/11/2011

      having seen some of your work now – I thank you for your comments from someone much more talented than I am. cheers Darko


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