An eye-opener on socio-economic concerns | Sunday Observer
Conversations with Alanki

An eye-opener on socio-economic concerns

22 January, 2023

Youtube has become the future of entertainment, it is one of the best ways to reach the masses and discuss topics that require to be shed light on in the context of social well-being. This week, we reached out to one such personality who is using her limelight to educate people about topics that matter, Alanki Kishani Perera, the founder and host of ‘Conversations with Alanki’.

‘Conversations with Alanki’ debuted three years ago and has over 80 episodes to date. Alanki brings on various economic, social, political, and legal personalities to talk about contemporary topics in the spheres of politics, law, social justice, and economics.

‘Conversations with Alanki’ dissects various complicated concepts into understandable compartments and helps the viewer engage with the same with a relevant social context.

In conversation with Alanki Kishani, here’s what we found out;

Q: Tell us what inspired you to start conversations with Alanki?

A: To be honest this is not something that was not something that was even at the back of my mind. Initially, I was approached by a certain company with a request to conduct a few interviews and submit to them as a project. I started working on this but it did not go according to plan. I wished I had more creative control over the content I was producing and then I decided that this was something I could do on my own.

So I decided to start conversations with Alanki. And since its inception we have developed it into a platform that discusses, sheds light on, and educates the viewership on various political, economic, social and legal concepts. It is not a restrictive concept the scope of topics we discuss is vast, we have discussed matters of law and fundamental rights, mental health, and deforestation and even had conversations with diplomats including the ambassador to New Zealand and Afghanistan from Sri Lanka and various sports personalities including Muthaiya Muralitharan and Bhanuka Rahapaksa. Basically, it is open to a wide number of people.

Q: Why did you decide on the name ‘Conversations with Alanki’?

A: As I said we are trying to discuss a broad range of topics. When coming up with a name I wanted to make sure I don’t restrict myself to the topics we talk about in my interviews, so Conversations with Alanki was the best choice. It is a conversation and we are free to discuss whatever we want with our guests.

Q: How do you decide whom to interview for a given session?

A: We release about two episodes a month and guests really depend on the hot topics at the time. Whatever social events may have paved the way for a need for a conversation about a certain topic. Or a trending political, economic or legal dialogue that may be of public interest. For example, I interviewed the ambassador to Afghanistan when the Taliban Afghanistan started. I interviewed several lawyers on the legal context of the ‘aragalaya’ right as it peaked. We were even in conversation with the President right before he became the president on the political and economic atmosphere of the country.

Q: Tell us about your team, do they help you with your questions?

A: My team includes myself, the editing, and videography individuals. My team is very supportive and easy to work with. I am very lucky to have them and I thank them for their hard work. They provide me with input in shortlisting guests for the show. My mother helps me with the questions as well. In fact, she helps me with everything. I am extremely grateful for her support; I wouldn’t have been able to get the show off the ground without her.

Q: Why did you decide to do the show in English and not in Sinhala?

A: This is a question I have been asked before. There is a limited number of English talk shows on Youtube and English is a connecting language for native Sinhala and Tamil speakers and I want my show to reach everyone, the movers, the shakers and the thought leaders, so I thought English was the best medium for it.

Q: How do you feel about how ‘Conversations with Alanki’ has come so far?

A: I am actually really happy with how far I’ve come. All I wanted to do with my show was to provide an educational plus entertaining session for the viewership. And I am delighted to say I have achieved this now. I have been comparing the reach of my show with other English talk shows and it is rather high. I am extremely grateful I have managed to make an impact. The feedback I received is quite impressive as well. I did an episode with an economist about the inflation Sri Lanka is going through and I got an overwhelming response from my viewership as it was educational and helpful to understand what we were going through.

Q: Who do you have planned to interview this year?

A: I am planning to continue to create educational content and become a program that creates social awareness. I am planning to interview politicians and Lawmakers on the ongoing elections and also about good governance and system change. I believe it is timely because most people have come to a point where they want to see a change in the system. I also plan to talk about certain topics that are not discussed openly in our society including mental health, environmental issues etc.

Finally, we asked Alanki if she’d like to thank anyone for the success of her show and she said, “I thank mostly my mother. She is my rock and helps me with everything, I am extremely grateful for her and her constant love and support. Further Alanki told us that anyone with any suggestions on the personalities to be interviewed or the topics to discuss can reach out to her through her Youtube page, Facebook and Instagram.