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Window Dressing

This building has been derelict for nearly 20 years.

Just over one year ago, the shell was given a coat of white paint to make it look like a new building; as it just happens to be on the road to the Parliament in Colombo and there was an international meeting that would travel past the building each day.

The grass was cut – as it had been more of a jungle than a lawn for many years – and then the concrete signs on the front got some red paint to make it look more the part.

As the government seems to be obsessed with appearance, this empty shell of rotting concrete got a couple of extra face lifts this month – blue paint on the outline of the building and glass.

It would be completely wrong to call them windows – as a cursory inspection will show them not to have window frames and the glass to have been wedged into the concrete.

I’m imagining next month the building will have mannequins in the windows, pretending to work and maybe some lights so the building shines at night.

Perhaps this is the work of the person who owns the building and he has taken too literally the request to tidy up the property?

Perhaps he is holding onto land that he thinks is going to be worth something at some point?

Unfortunately, this building is representative of the ‘cleaning up’ of Colombo that is happening post war – very surface and not very adequate.

Posted by simon on April 13, 2011

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