Freedom Hub

Freedom Hub

His talent for design was what got him a first from St Martin’s... He had made connections into the world of fashion that were not only pioneering but kept Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan fabrics at the centre of all his designs … I recall him saying, “If Gandhi could promote the use of Indian fabric for the betterment of Indians and to overthrow an empire, I could do the same here!”

- Chandri Peiris, Actor, Dancer & Model & Friend of Mangala

ඔහුගේ මෝස්තර නිර්මාණ දක්ෂතාව හේතුවෙන් ඔහු උගත් ශාන්ත මාටින් කලා විශ්වවිද්‍යාලයේ ඔහුගේ කණ්ඩායමේ සෑම වසරකම පළමු ස්ථානය ඔහුට හිමිවුණා. ඔහු මෝස්තර ලෝකයට ගෙන ආ පුරෝගාමී නිර්මාණවල හදවත වුණේ ශ්‍රී ලංකාව හා ශ්‍රී ලාංකික රෙදිපිළියි. ...“ඉන්දියානුවන්ගේ යහපත උදෙසා ඉන්දියානු රෙදි ප්‍රවර්ධනය කර අධිරාජ්‍යය දණගස්වන්නට ගාන්ධිට පුළුවන් වුණානම්, මටත් එය කරන්නට පුළුවන්,” කියා ඔහු එදා කී හැටි මට මතකයි.

- මංගල මිතුරු චන්ද්‍රි පීරිස්, නළු, නර්තන ශිල්පී හා නිරූපණ ශිල්පී

செயின்ட் மார்ட்டின்ஸில் இருந்து அவருக்கு முதன்முதலில் கிடைத்த வடிவமைப்புத் திறமைதான்... அவர் முன்னோடியாக மட்டுமல்லாமல், இலங்கை மற்றும் இலங்கைத் துணிகளை தனது அனைத்து வடிவமைப்புகளிலும் மையமாக வைத்து ஃபேஷன் உலகில் தொடர்புகளை ஏற்படுத்தினார்... அவர் கூறியது எனக்கு நினைவிருக்கிறது. , "இந்தியர்களின் முன்னேற்றத்திற்காகவும், ஒரு சாம்ராஜ்யத்தைத் தூக்கியெறியவும் இந்தியத் துணியைப் பயன்படுத்துவதை காந்தியால் ஊக்குவிக்க முடிந்தால், நான் இங்கேயும் அதையே செய்ய முடியும்!"

- சந்திரி பீரிஸ், நடிகர், நடனக் கலைஞர் & மாடல் & மங்களவின் நண்பர்


The launch of Freedom Hub in July 2021 was to be Mangala's last press-conference before his untimely passing. He beamed as he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with multi-ethnic youth advocates, creatives, entrepreneurs, & concerned professionals. Each spoke about their hopes for democratic progress in Sri Lanka in terms of politics, economy, law & justice, environment, religious, ethnic inclusion, peace-building & LGBTQ rights & animal welfare.

As a once brilliant fashion designer and design educator, and well-proven communications, media & campaign guru in his political career, Mangala conceived Freedom Hub as a digital & creative content & skills development & collaboration hub based on the ‘20 Values of a ‘Radical Centre’. It spoke to his cognizance of how creativity & freedom of expression are vital & vibrant tools for the communication of people’s needs, struggles, and hopes. More so, that they are one of the fundamental modes through which people imagine & craft the opportunities & world they hope for.

Mangala Innocence & Chndra Thenuwara Fashion Show
Mangala Innocence & Chndra Thenuwara Fashion Show

The relaunch of Freedom Hub in Matara in 2023 is an initiative spearheaded by a team of youth who are inspired by Mangala's legacy and in their own right are experienced & purpose driven across branding & arts & the SME sector. They are supported in this by Mangala’s family & friends. This team has been in Matara since October, listening to the ground-level needs & aspirations based on which they have crafted a ‘Creative Enterprise’ programme - aiming at bringing together activities that foster & broaden a creative mindset & expression together with entrepreneurship skills & economically empowering projects.

The 5-month long ‘Creative Enterprise’ pilot will be broken down into a) 3-month foundational English language programme taught by a TKT Certified Instructor who is a graduate of the internationally recognized Asian University for Women and has previously taught ESL in both Maskeliya & Batticaloa; b) An inter-woven & then focused 2-month long Creative Enterprise programme brought to life by a list of visiting subject experts who will hold sessions & workshops with programme participants, and in some instances, with the general public at large. At the end of each programme cycle, we will also host a ‘Creator Market & Showcase’ where products and content created by participants during the Creative Enterprise Programme are shared with the general public too.

Speakers include a lineup of Mangala’s creative contemporaries & awarded & recognized rising-talents across art, digital-content creation, filmmaking, design, cultural-making & brand building & issues advocacy.

Freedom Hub Speakers

The application for The FH Creative Enterprise 2023 programme is now open to apply for till the deadline of 31st of January 2023.

The Programme is best suited for aspirational creatives & entrepreneurs and early-stage practitioners - particularly artists, graphic designers, craft & product artisans, brand builders, visual storytellers (filmmakers/commercial videographers), content creators in digital media (YouTube, TikTok, Instagram), and those interested in building creative & communication skills for stronger issues advocacy.

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The dream lives on...

Design by Gimhani Galgedara || Development by Samir Lalani of October Digital || Content by Chanchala Gunewardena

All Rights to Chanchala Gunewardena 2022