For someone that tries to be Net based, I’m surprisingly into magazines lately. There is some new stuff that’s come out, like Machang and GO. Locally I like Machang and the Sinhala/English mag Express that ships with the Sunday Observer (I think) is good. The most professional one I’ve seen, however, is expat based. Serendipity is a sick Sri Lankan mag produced by Afdhel Aziz, and this is not an ad. It’s distro’d free in the UK, but I just read the online version via Zinio. I’m looking at it design wise and it’s leagues above anything I’ve done. Deshan apparently taught them about kerning earlier. One (deserved) criticism I’ve gotten is that the typopgraphy is off, but Serendipity’s layouts are really beautiful and plentiful with the white space. One thing I also admire is that Afdhel’s editorial states that he’s trying to showcase a Sri Lanka beyond war and tsunami, which I think is important.
I don’t think that people realize that Sri Lankans are a very funny, drunken, and pleasure seeking lot – rather than victims of various natural and social disasters. Yeah, what’s it, he talks about being a generation which is defined by its aspirations. I think I feel that way, I mean, that’s why I came back to SL. People ask me what Sri Lanka has produced or is good for and I don’t know enough to say, but I personally see nothing but growth here. Everybody I talk to is trying to grow their business or network or start a company or just build something. It’s a shame that a lot of the most vibrant and intelligent Sri Lankans have gone abroad. Or, as I say in less generous moods, everybody smart enough to get off this island has left. I think Serendipity is trying to harness that diaspora in a ways. And it looks pretty.