Artists, animators, and cartoonists have shared their views on how they are making the best use of their lives within four walls of home amid coronavirus epidemic keeping it in mind that every cloud has a silver lining.
They converged on a virtual platform to reflect on different aspects of life saying they should never feel hopeless because difficult times always lead to better days.
Centre for Research and Information’s (CRI) youth platform Young Bangla hosted the thought sharing session titled ‘New Normal’ on Monday night.
Britto Art Trust Coordinator and himself an artist, Mahbubur Rahman,Nadia Samdani, Co-Founder and President of the Samdani Art Foundation and Director of the Dhaka Art Summit; her partner in each of these ventures as well as life itself, Rajeeb Samdani; two very talented, up-and-coming Bangladeshi artists - the London-based Ayesha Sultana and Dhaka-based Sabyasachi Mistry; artists, Samir Asran Rahman, an animation artist, Syed Rashed Imam Tonmoy, an artist and cartoonist participated in the session.
Meghdol Band Vocalist Shibu Kumar Shil conducted the session.
Shedding light on the life lived inside four walls during the Covid-19 pandemic, Mahbubur Rahman said, “Due to the socio-economic crisis emerging from the (health)crisis, people are undergoing depression."
But, he said, like every cloud has a silver line, this time brings about blessings as well. "People are endowed with ample time to reflect on themselves, reshaping thoughts, and spending time on books."
He also shared his plans that he may work out while staying home.
A few days into Dhaka Art Summit calling it a day, its organizers Rajeeb Samdani and Nadia Samdani had to shut themselves up inside home due to the spread of Coronavirus across the world.
As observed by Nadia, it was quite a difficult task to restrict themselves inside home for weeks in a row but they adjusted with it well with time.
As part of the ‘New Normal’ life, they are conducting all of their activities online.
Samdani Art Foundation is organizing a workshop titled ‘Art Around the Table’ with participation of artists and art enthusiasts in the country and abroad, highlighting on how to master art and photography.
“Jaago Foundation has teamed up with us on this project. We carried it out not just for artists but for everyone else as well. Artists are donating their remunerations to Jaago Foundation,” said Rajeeb.
Staying in home quarantine in London, Artist Ayesha Sultana said that she had also been planning for new ideas to work on.
In her view, though the art galleries in Europe have been reopened following its closure due to the spread of Covid-19, it will not be easy to organize art exhibitions in South Asian countries such as Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan.
“I cannot say for sure when our country will be able to organize exhibitions again. The government can take initiative in this regard,” she said.
Sabyasachi Mistry said, “I am carrying out my office tasks from home and spending my time on reading books and listening to music. Currently, I am not getting my hands on the creative works.”
Animation Designer Samir Asran Rahman said that he had been missing his time in the studio as he had to do all the tasks from home.
Cartoonist and Artist Syed Rashed Imam has been working on the graphic novel on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The gigantic initiative of creatively presenting the life stories of Bangabandhu, based on his Unfinished Memoirs, for children, teenagers, and youths was taken by Bangabandhu’s grandson Radwan Mujib Siddique.
Awami League’s research wing Centre for Research & Information (CRI) has been publishing the books since 2015.
Recounting that experience, Tonmoy said there is no precedent of such a well-researched graphic novel in Bangladesh. "At first, it took time to design the characters. Then we managed it well. We are done with seven books. There will be graphic novels on 10 issues.”