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Climate Urgency and the Future

Technologies of anticipation in Sri Lanka

My research topic is 'Climate Urgency and the Future: Technologies of Anticipation in Sri Lanka.' My research aims to understand which types of futurological exercises are used to connect future uncertainty with present climate challenges, both in scientific circuits and at the societal level at large. Society in Sri Lanka is a complex web of individuals and groups, distinguished by many factors such as class, religion, caste, gender, and language, and last but not least, their political and moral visions about prospects for the future, which can differ and collide among each other. The culture has been intertwined with the methods of colonization, globalization, and urbanization, but the problem is whether knowledge of climate change has been prepared in Sri Lanka for a safe future. What kind of societal effects do efforts for anticipating climate change have? Is scientific and expert knowledge on changing climates adopted? Is it resisted, manipulated, or diverted? Is it ignored or silenced? When is this knowledge adopted and promoted, and why? From whom? Despite the importance of these issues, the limited amount of research conducted in Sri Lanka poses a significant obstacle to comprehensively addressing these issues. I plan to do this research when that gap is filled.

Doctoral Candidate: Suranga Hennadige

I am a PhD candidate at University Catania, focusing on 'Climate Urgency and the Future: Technologies of Anticipation in Sri Lanka, under the supervision of Prof. Mara Benadusi. My academic background is particularly in Anthropology, Sociology, Social Safeguard, Climate Resilience, and Education Policy Research. My academic journey began with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Colombo in 2015, which laid the groundwork for my subsequent academic pursuits. This was followed by the completion of a Master of Arts in Sociology from the same university in 2019. My master's dissertation, titled "A Sociological Study on How to Identify and Manage Risk through Culture Associated with the Social Environment in Natural Disaster Management," utilized an anthropological perspective for understanding the research problem and analysis. My research methodologies involved participatory observation, interviews, and focus group discussions for comprehensive data collection.

My professional career has been diverse and impactful. I commenced as an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Colombo, where I spent 2 years enriching students' academic journeys. Subsequently, I transitioned to a role as a Social Safeguard Officer at the Ministry of Irrigation under the Climate Resilience Improvement Project, funded by the World Bank (WB). During my 4-year tenure, I gained extensive expertise in various domains, including social safeguard, resettlement planning and implementation, land acquisition, and livelihood development planning. I contributed to a wide range of studies, such as pre-feasibility and feasibility assessments, social impact assessments, resettlement action plans, environmental impact assessments, strategic social assessments, business surveys, and demographic surveys. Throughout this period, my approach was deeply informed by an anthropological perspective, enabling me to comprehend societal behaviors, activities, religious inclinations, and linguistic nuances.

Additionally, I served as a Policy Research Officer at the National Education Commission for 2 years, where I offered valuable insights and research acumen to shape national education policies. I have a proven track record of creating diverse communication materials including videos, documentary films, newsletters, and leaflets. Furthermore, I possess a robust combination of anthropological theoretical knowledge and practical experiences, leading me to choose 'Climate Urgency and the Future: Technologies of Anticipation in Sri Lanka' as my research topic for my Ph.D. degree. This choice is a culmination of my experiences and academic background, allowing me to contribute meaningfully to the discourse surrounding climate change and societal responses in Sri Lanka.

Meet The Team

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Suranga Hennadige

Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Catania


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Mara Benadusi

Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Catania

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Katja Biedenkopf

PhD Candidate



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