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Department of Anthropology

Eye Donation in Sri Lanka

Once every year the Sri Lanka Eye Donation Society hosts a national eye donation day. In the course of the day, members of the public come forward to pledge that after their death their corneas may be used to bring sight to others. ‘Gifts and Visions’ is a documentary about the 2013 event. The film records what happened on the day. It also records interviews with staff at the Eye Donation society as well as those attending the day to make their pledge. The conversations that make up the film reveal the distinctive cultural, political and religious meanings given to the practice of eye donation in Sri Lanka.

The documentary was made by Waruni Chandrasena, an independent film-maker, in collaboration with Professor Bob Simpson (Department of Anthropology, University of Durham UK) who was carrying out research into human tissue donation in Sri Lanka. Watch the film below [1hr 20mins], or click ‘Gifts and Visions’ for more information.


Gifts and Visions: The Practice of Eye Donation in Sri Lanka

Gifts and Visions: The Practice of Eye Donation in Sri Lanka

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This documentary was made by Waruni Chandrasena, an independent Sri Lankan film-maker, in collaboration with Professor Bob Simpson (Department of Anthropology, Durham University) and with the co-operation of the Sri Lanka Eye Donation Society


Learn more about the Sri Lanka Eye Donation Society

See Bob Simpson's forcoming publication on The Practice of Eye donation in contemporary Sri Lanka