The 5th edition of Dhaka Art Summit: Seismic Movements (DAS 2020), concluded Saturday at the National Art Gallery of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA).
The artistic extravaganza, organised by Samdani Art Foundation (SAF) in association with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), has enthralled the visitors since its opening on February 7.
Having quickly established its place in the art calendar of the region , the brainchild of SAF Co-founders Rajeeb and Nadia Samdani, curated by the summit’s Chief Curator Diana Campbell Betancourt- the 5th summit empowered the art-lovers to explore various forms of art from all around the world under one roof.
More than 500 artists, sculptors, curators, critics, collectors, architects and art professionals from over 44 different countries participated in this rendezvous of modern and contemporary art. Forged through alliances across Africa, Australia, South and Southeast Asia, and also extending into Europe and the US, the extravagant event also featured thought-provoking performance arts, videos, panel discussions, symposia, puppet shows and more.
According to Nadia Samdani, this year’s summit theme has been ‘Seismic Movements’ where different artworks related to geological movements, colonial movements, independence movement, social movements had been on display and enthralled the visitors, throughout the summit. Also, DAS – 2020 had been 'plastic-free’ and no air-conditioning was used in the summit.
A very special exhibition titled ‘Lighting the Fire of Freedom’, an initiative of the Centre for Research and Information (CRI), ICT Division, in collaboration with BSA and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, paved tribute to the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on his birth centenary. Curated by Ruxmini Reckvana Q Choudhury, Assistant Curator of SAF- the exhibition narrated the journey of Bangabandhu (1920 – 1975), chronologically; through a rich variety of archival and contemporary materials including personal photographs, newspapers, videos and artworks. The exhibition treasures historic moments, dating back to the Bengal Presidency under British Raj, the East Pakistan regime, and finally Bangladesh.
The 5th edition of the Samdani Art Award curated by Philippe Pirotte and in partnership with the Goethe-Institut of Dhaka, provided artists the opportunity to create new work for DAS 2020 and to be supported in a residency at Srihatta. Soma Surovi Jannat received the Samdani Art Award this year, for her work “Into the Yarn, Out in the One” (pen on plywood, wood and wall, 2019-2020). The other shortlisted artists were: Ariful Kabir, Ashfika Rahman, Faiham Ebna Sharif, Habiba Nowrose, Najmun Nahar Keya, Palash Bhattacharjee, Sounak Das, Sumana Akter, Tahia Farhin Haque, and Zihan Karim. Breaking the convention, Promiti Hossain was respected with a special mention award for her work “Personal and Social” (2019-2020), facilitated by the Jury Board from their honorariums of the summit.
‘Roots’, curated by Dhaka based artist and educator Bishwajit Goswami, examined the transfer of knowledge by art educators who have been influential in the building of Bangladesh’s art history. The exhibition focused on the role of Bangladeshi artists in building the institutions that support artistic production in the country, from founding formal institutions like art schools (such as Zainul Abedin with the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka and Rashid Choudhury with the Institute of Fine Arts, University of Chittagong) to informal art education outside of the capital (SM Sultan’s Shishu Swarga and Charupith Jashore).
The 6th edition of Dhaka Art Summit is scheduled to lift its curtain on 2022.
Khanysia did not see the trap set by a poacher in South Africa's Kruger National Park. She dove head first into the sharp wire snare, which cut her mouth, face and underneath her ear and chin.
It was days before the four-month-old albino elephant was found badly dehydrated but alive, and taken to the Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development center, three hours away.
One month later, Khanysia, named after the Tsonga word for light, weighs a healthy 150 kilograms (330 pounds), is adding 500 grams (1 pound) every day and spends her time playing with caretakers.
"She is a little albino elephant, so it is a bit different than your normal elephant just in caring, especially when the sun is kind of severe," said Adine Roode, founder of the center, in the heart of Kapama game reserve. "Due to the animal human conflict, we are sitting with orphans. Because of the decreasing land and habitat, we will see an increase, in the future, of elephant orphans."
It is not known how Khanysia was separated from her mother and herd, said Roode.
For the past 22 years, the center has looked after orphaned elephants, and now has 17 pachyderms on site, she said. The young elephants are eventually released to the private game reserve, she said.
Khanysia is separated from the rest of the herd for the time being. At night she stays in a heated room and in the daytime she goes outside to a large enclosure with tall grass and a mud pool. Under 24-hour supervision, the blue-eyed, pink-skinned toddler seems to be in a non-stop play mood, craving attention and only stopping now and then to scratch her itchy scars on the wood pillars surrounding her pen.
After two hours of cavorting with Khanysia, causing the little elephant to trumpet repeatedly, Roode leaves her in the care of Liverson Sande, the center's senior carer.
Outside, the 17 other elephants line up for a walk. "It's so easy to get too attached," says Roode. "It is difficult to let go."
Pahela Falgun usually falls on February 13 but this year it coincided with Valentine’s Day as Bangla Academy revised Bangla Calendar to match it with the Gregorian calendar and cultural attractions like the ongoing Dhaka Art Summit (DAS) - 2020 draws a large number of visitors, as a result.
As both the festivities coincided on Friday, the weekly holiday, people from all over the city joined the summit to explore the artistic extravaganza.
“We are regularly welcoming a huge number of art-enthusiasts and admirers in our DAS-2020, however it has been very exceptional today. People from all ages and classes have been visiting the summit since early morning, enjoying both the festivities and the holiday altogether”- Prema, one of the Art Mediators in this year’s summit, spoke about the massive attendance.
Due to the huge crowd presence on the road towards Ramna Park and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy where the Summit is taking place, vehicles stood for hours in traffic jam and the summit-goers even had to walk a long distance to join the summit.
The art-lovers, however, did not face discomfort they suffered on the road, over celebrating the occasion with their beloved.
To enthrall the visitors, the summit authority offers a number of options for recreation- including regular cultural shows on every evening at BSA ground, a manual whirligig ride for kids and adults and a huge food court containing branded stalls.
“The traffic on the road is terrific, but after entering the summit and exploring all the extravagant festivities here, now it feels like we have successfully utilised our first Falgun and Valentine’s Day after our marriage” - Prottoy and Dola, a newlywed couple expressed their joy after visiting the summit.
Both Pahela Falgun and Valentine’s Day had been full of colours and jovially festive in the capital for years- and the extravaganza of the art biennale called DAS leveled up the celebration in 2020, engaging people from all ages.
The 5th edition of Dhaka Art Summit concludes on Saturday, February 15.
Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka wore a festive look with the participation of youths, couples, cultural activists, and children on Pahela Falgun, the first day of spring, and the Valentine’s Day on Friday.
Jatiya Bashanta Utsab Udjapon Parishad organised a cultural programme at Bakultala of the Fine Arts Faculty. Cultural activists, students and people from all walks of life attended the function.
The colour and spirit of Pahela Falgun and Valentine’s Day also touched the Amar Ekushey Book Fair. People donning colourful dresses thronged the fair grounds.
A young man is putting a flower bracelet on his lover. Photo: UNB
A man comes out in the city with his wife and son on a motorcycle to celebrate Pahela Falgun. Photo: UNB
A girl a wearing black scarf puts on a flower crown and visits Suhrawardy Udyan area. Photo: UNB
A young man is clipping a flower on his girlfriend’s hair bun. Photo: UNB
Colours of Pahela Falgun and Valentine’s Day celebration also touched the Amar Ekushey Book Fair. Photo: UNB
People sit in front of the stage at Bakultala of the Fine Arts Faculty in Dhaka University where Jatiya Bashanta Utshab Udjapon Parishad organised a cultural programme to celebrate Pahela Falgun. Photo: UNB
Artists performing dance at Bakultala of the Fine Arts Faculty of Dhaka University on Pahela Falgun. Photo: UNB
A group of artists are seen performing dance at Bakultala. Photo: UNB
A group of artistes are performing dance at Bakultala. Photo: UNB
Members of a family are enjoying cultural programme at Bakultala. Photo: UNB
Artistes pose with flowers before their performance at Bakultala. Photo: UNB
Artistes pose for picture at Bakultala of the Fine Arts Faculty. Photo: UNB
Tourists thronged ‘Shimul Bagan’ in Tahirpur upazila to celebrate Pahela Falgun (first day of spring) and Valentine’s Day on Friday.
‘Shimul Bagan’, a garden of Shimul tree (scientific name Bombax ceiba), wore a festive look with the presence of hundreds of tourists in the area.
Joynal Abedin, a tree love, planted about 3,000 Shimul trees on 2,400 acres of land in 2003 beside Jadukata River.
Youths in red and yellow attires celebrated Pahela Falgun, and the Valentine’s Day on the same day as Bangla Academy has revised Bangla Calendar to match it with the Gregorian calendar.
Pahela Falgun usually falls on February 13 but this year it coincided with Valentine’s Day.