Shakrain – a celebration of kites and lights – is one of the oldest festivals of Bangladesh. It starts with kite flying and ends with unity and friendship.
The festival is an annual celebration in Dhaka which marks the end of the ninth month of Bengali calendar – Poush. The day is also known as Poush Sankranti and Shakrain or Ghuri Utshob.
Shakrain is celebrated mostly in the southern part of Dhaka city where colourful kites fill the sky.
Also read: Shakrain: Recognising the root of Old Dhaka
Thousands of people get on their rooftops to sing, dance and fly kites of different colours and shapes. They also have kite fights with their neighbours.
And when the winter sun starts setting, parties and fireworks take over the festivities. Music awakens the whole town and flamboyant groups arrange daylong programmes, including concerts and parties.
Flame-eaters and fire-spinners gather on rooftops to entertain people with their skills.
A UNB Photojournalist captured the colours and lights of Shakrain at Old Dhaka on Thursday.
People of Old Dhaka fly kites from the roof of their apartment complexes to celebrate Shakrain.
Youths climb to their rooftops to sing and dance.
Flame-eaters entertain people with their skills.
Dazzling light shows brighten Old Dhaka’s night sky.
The 19th edition of the Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF) is set to begin on Saturday with slogan 'Better Film, Better Audience and Better Society,'.
Featuring 227 films from 73 countries, this year’s edition is scheduled to be arranged in a hybrid format due to the ongoing global pandemic of COVID-19.
A press conference was held at Dhaka Club in the capital on Thursday where festival director Ahmed Muztaba Zamal, festival patron M Hamid, DIFF chairperson Kishwar Kamal, festival advisor Rafiquzzaman and Asian Films Competition jurors - renowned art critic Moinuddin Khaled, actors Ferdous Ahmed and Rokeya Prachy shared the details of the festival.
It was announced that the 19th Dhaka International Film Festival, dedicated to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman marking his birth centenary, is going to be inaugurated at the main auditorium of the Bangladesh National Museum at 4 pm. .
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen will inaugurate the festival as the chief guest, while Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram K Doraiswami will attend the inauguration event as the special guest.
The films will be screened at Star Cineplex, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Sufia Kamal National Public Library and Bangladesh National Museum. Aside from these venues, the festival will screen films using virtual platform LagVelki.com for the first time.
Films under diversified segments including the Asian Cinema Competition Section, Legendary Leaders Who Changed the World, Tribute, Retrospective, Bangladesh Panorama Section, Cinema of the World Section, Children Films Section, Women Filmmakers Section, Short and Independent Films Section and Spiritual Films Section, will be screened.
This year’s festival will feature films on global leaders under a new segment titled ‘Legendary Leaders Who Changed the World’, for the first time in its history.
This will honour Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as part of Mujib Borsho celebration across the country.
A very special segment of 19th DIFF is called ‘Tribute’ which will honour Oscar-winning filmmaker Satyajit Ray on the occasion of his birth centenary. Some of his notable films including “Pather Panchali”, “Aparajito”, “Jalsaghar”, “Apur Sansar”, “Ashani Sanket”, “Sonar Kella” and “Hirak Rajar Deshe” will be screened at the festival .
Besides, the festival will also arrange a special seminar session on January 20 at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy titled “Satyajit Ray: National as Global”.
Renowned actors and activists from India and Bangladesh, including Padma Bhushan-winning actress Sharmila Tagore, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Supreme Court judge and well-known painting, music and movie collector Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed, art critic Moinuddin Khaled and former Cultural Affairs Minister and noted actor Asaduzzaman Noor, will join the seminar.
The 19th DIFF will also feature Seventh Dhaka International Conference on Women in Cinema 2021, which will be held from January 17 to January 18. Women filmmakers and actors from all over the world are scheduled to join the event.
Rainbow Film Society has been organising DIFF since 1992. It has been working to promote a healthy cine culture in Bangladesh since 1977.
The 19th edition of DIFF will conclude on January 24.
It was a visual delight when several renowned theatre personalities and artists launched a day-long cleanliness campaign in Dhaka on Wednesday by sweeping the Central Shaheed Minar area with a broom in hand.
"As one of the most prominent and remarkable monuments in Bangladesh, which was at the centre-front of our glorious Language Movement in 1952, Central Shaheed Minar reminds us of our love and sacrifice for our mother tongue. The monument should be kept clean all the time," said Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) chief Liaquat Ali Lucky, inaugurating the event.
"Besides Dhaka, we are holding similar programmes in all the districts with the help of local Shilpakala Academy branches and artistes," said Liaquat Ali, also the founder of the People’s Theatre Association (PTA) that had jointly organised the day-long cleanliness campaign, a cultural event and an art camp at the Central Shaheed Minar with BSA.
On the Academy’s upcoming events marking the International Mother Language Day, Lucky said, "BSA will organise a programme at the Central Saheed Minar every month from now on, and we will arrange a light and sound show at the monument in February aimed at portraying the history of the country's language movement."
Also Read: Cleanliness campaign held at IU
Jamal Ahmed, Biren Shome, Fazlur Rahman Bhutan, Syeda Mahbuba Karim Mini, Shahjahan Ahmed Bikash, Kiriti Ranjan Biswas, Karu Titas, Farzana Islam Milki, Farhana Afroz Bappi, Kabir Ahmed Masum Chisti, Farzana Ahmed Urmi, Rashed Sukhon, Sujon Mahbub and Nur Munjerin Rimjhim participated at the art camp and created artworks depicting the language movement and International Mother Language Day.
At the art camp, veteran artist Biren Shome made a painting depicting people placing floral wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar with three birds in flight in the background. Jamal Ahmed created a work depicting founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Syeda Mahbuba Karim Mini made a painting portraying the language movement, showing revolutionaries holding rallies with placards demanding Bangla as the state language in 1952.
Also Read: 'Battle for cleanliness' begins in city
Artistes from BSA also presented enthralling cultural performances, while Bangladesh Shishu Acrobatic Dol entertained the audience by performing a stunning display of balance and tricks.
At the event, Shamima Chowdhury Alis recited poems on the language movement, followed by BSA Baul troupe's presentation of folk songs. Child artistes of the Academy presented a production, titled ‘Jonmo Shoto Borshe Jatir Pita', comprising songs and dance, written and directed by Liaquat Ali Lucky.
Sustainability has never been under the spotlight as much as it has been in the last few years. With the epidemic slowing global movement dramatically, CO2 emissions are dropping due to flight cancelations and lockdown in many parts of the world, while many coal and oil mining projects have been delayed or halted altogether. Arguably for the time ever, seeing transparent progress in eco-conversation has become apparent. With large organisations taking advantage of the situation of making the world a greener place, the common man can follow suit that can establish the same impact, if not more. Living eco-friendly in Dhaka can be a little tricky at first, but once accustomed, these changes will definitely have a lasting impact.
Bringing Tupperwares and Cups Outside
Recycling has always been used when sustainability-oriented organizations try to drive home the necessity to act, and it’s hard to avoid it when we want to make simple, yet effective changes. More and more consumers are following the trend of bringing their own tupperwares and cups when going out for a coffee or grabbing takeaway from a restaurant. It’s surprising how much waste is accredited to discarded styrofoam packets and plastic cups, which is why a small act like this can make a whole world of difference.
Granted, lugging around plastic cups and tupperware has the hindrance of filling up your bag “needlessly” and worrying about washing more dishes when getting home could deter the masses from adopting this lifestyle, but the reduction of waste will make a whopping difference. In addition, using reusable plastic bottles or flasks are more common eco-friendly alternatives, while brands like Starbucks are beginning to see success by incentivizing metal straws.
Bringing Your Own Grocery Bag
Many countries are realising the dangers of disposing plastic bags on such a colossal scale that 76 of them have banned the mass distribution of them altogether. Bangladesh has the honor of being the first country to implement this order in 2002. Living in a country that saw the urgency of environmental conservations before others, keeping the vision alive in 2021 is encouraged. As waste, plastic bags have been tracked as one of the most prominent ecological hazards that contribute to water pollution and a direct threat to animal life.
Bringing your own cotton or Jute bag ensures a far better make, can double as a fashion statement on top of supporting a noble cause. Organic groceries can be troublesome to wash out of some reusable materials, but it is well worth the effort for better quality bags that are far more lasting. Buying more reusable bags for heavier grocery shopping sprees are important to consider as doing so will mitigate the need to use plastic bags period.
Saving Water & Electricity
The consequences of wasting electricity is more severe than people assume. Greenhouse gas emissions and carbon emissions are in play when flammable sedimentary is crushed and heated to form electricity. Wastage doesn’t seem so bad when leaving the lights on accidentally overnight or leaving the air conditioner on with an open window, but micro oversight tends to add up and contributes to unnecessary pollution. Water waste poses a different set of problems. Much like electricity, draining the resource of drinkable water doesn’t seem like much initially, but collectively can usher great consequences.
Thankfully, there is little need to go out of your way to stay savvy with your water and electricity. Using LED light bulbs, swap to energy-efficient air conditioners, use eco-friendly water heaters and minimising the use of dish washing machines are all simple ways to stay ahead of conservation without taking up additional time or effort. Turning the water off when rinsing in soap during a shower or turning the tap off when rinsing dishes with soap are small ways to make a difference that can become a habit when practiced enough.
Today is the 75th birth anniversary of Ekushey Padak winner late painter and printmaking artist Kalidas Karmakar.
Born on this day in 1946 in Faridpur to a family of goldsmiths and artisans, the internationally renowned legendary art-maestro cemented his legacy as one of the most diversified and well-respected artists of Bangladesh.
Because of his origin from an artisan family, Kalidas Karmakar was naturally attracted into crafts, drawing and painting. To begin with his artistic endeavours, he completed his two-year preliminary degree in fine arts at the Institute of Fine Arts, Dhaka University, in 1964.
He then went on to complete his graduation from the Government College of Fine Arts and Crafts in Kolkata and achieved the prestigious degree in 1969.
Known as the ‘Alluvial Man’ in country’s art sphere, Kalidas began his career with paintings through assembling metal objects in the 1970s and with prints, he began to explore mythic and tantric images in the ‘80s, opening up new possibilities for etching and aquatint.
The artist’s very first solo art exhibition was held at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on August 7, 1976. He had staged more than 40 solo exhibitions at home and abroad.
His diverse artworks featuring found objects, handmade paper, and oil on canvas prints have been widely exhibited throughout South Asia, Middle East, Europe, and the United States and in counties including Poland, United States of America, India, Japan, Iran, Italy, Korea, and Hong Kong.
He won the Polish Government Scholarship in Graphic Art at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Art, Warsaw University; French Government Superior Scholarship in Fine Arts, for research in multicolour etching at Atelier-17, in Paris; Japan Foundation Fellowship on Japanese Woodblock Printing at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music; ICCR Special Scholarship for research in Contemporary Modern Sculpture, West Bengal Lalit Kala Academy Studio; and Asian Cultural Council New York, Fellowship with Artist Residency program in the US.
In 2006, he received an ACC Fellowship to participate in a residency at the PointB Worklodge in Brooklyn.
Major works by the artist have been collected by Kihak Sung, Youngone Corporation, Korea and Bangladesh; Hiroshi Toda; Takeo Yamaki; Takashi Kobayashi; Abul Khair (Chairman of Bengal Foundation), Ambassador Paulo Da Costa Franco, Gallery Cosmos, and many other private collectors, at home and abroad.
Read Also: Artist Kalidas Karmakar passes away
Having the natural charisma of captivating the crowd, Kalidas Karmakar often staged enthralling performances during his solo exhibitions in Dhaka and abroad. His performances at chars in the River Padma in the late 1980s signalled the drift towards site-specific art in Bangladesh, which was later followed by fellow artists.
Kalidas Karmakar was one of the advisers of Gallery Cosmos, who initiated a modern state-of-the-art printmaking studio known as Atelier71 at the gallery venue in Cosmos Centre, for which he had always shown great dedication.
He was engaged with the gallery till his death on October 18, 2019, following a heart attack.
For his life-long attachment to art, Kalidas Karmakar received Ekushey Padak (2018), Shilpakala Padak (2016), Sultan Padak and many other prestigious awards.