After suspension of all activities in the last six months due to Corononvirus pandemic, the theatre scene is bringing back the festivity again with a brand new play titled Ekti Loukik othoba Oloukik Steamer by renowned theatre troupe Dhaka Theatre.
It was inaugurated on Friday evening at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy’s National Theatre Hall and earned massive applause from the audience.
Directed by noted stage, television and film actor Shahiduzzaman Selim, the play is written by playwright Anan Zaman, Associate professor of Drama and Dramatics at Jahangirnagar University. Ministry of Cultural Affairs is associating the play as its patron.
Featuring eminent actors from the theatre arena of the country, the play has several respected and talented individuals behind the scene including Rosey Siddique as the costume designer, Snata Shahrin as the choreographer, eminent actor-director Afzal Hossain as the overall design in-charge, popular musician Rahul Anand as the music director and Saifuddin Ahmed Dulal as the chief-coordinator.
Ekti Loukik othoba Oloukik Steamer narrates the story of a group of people waiting for a steamer to escape from the ugly reality, which caused themselves being infected with an unknown virus. The reality is they are polluted with their criminal activities, corruptions in several sectors in the societal system, injustice-inequity and more.
Gradually they start confessing to their crimes while waiting for the steamer that can rescue them; however, the question remains on if there is any actual steamer or it is just their illusion as to their escaping route from their deadly reality.
After the staging of the play, director Selim welcomed the distinguished guests of the inaugural show on stage including state minister for cultural affairs KM Khalid, renowned actor-theatre activist and former state minister of cultural affairs Asaduzzaman Noor and Liberation War Museum trustee Dr Sarwar Ali.
"The pandemic brought an exceptionally unimaginable situation for the cultural arena all around the world as the whole process involves enjoying the festivity with a great gathering of people, something that unfortunately welcomes and accelerates the contamination risks of the coronavirus in this ongoing global pandemic situation. However, the cultural arena is rising again by adopting the new normals and helping people to get over these hard times, and I really admire the effort behind this wonderful presentation, something our ministry is proudly associated with", KM Khalid said after the play ended.
Former state minister and respected thespian Asaduzzaman Noor applauded the performers, saying, “We, the cultural workers have always performed our responsibilities towards the society whenever there has been any crisis. Currently, we are going through such a situation and I am proud that the performers have stepped up again with such a wonderful presentation like this”.
Noor and other special guests also wished eminent cultural personality and Dhaka Theatre team leader Nasir Uddin Yousuff his speedy recovery, who could not join the event due to his illness.
As part of the two-day inaugural festivity, the play will be staged again at 7 pm on Saturday at the same venue. Audiences can visit Dhaka Theatre’s Facebook page for additional information on tickets.
‘Amar Joboner Golpo’, an autobiography by President of Faridpur District Puja Udjapon Parishad CIP Dr Jashoda Jibon Debnath’s, has been unveiled at a programme in Faridpur.
The book was unveiled at Ambika Memorial hall at Jhilatuli in the district town on Friday night.
President of Faridpur Press Club Kabirul Islam Siddique presided over the programme.
Mashiur Rahman Khokon, general secretary of Faridpur Press Club conducted the programme while Jibo Debnath, freedom fighter PK Sarkar, Sazzad Hossain Rony, Biswajit Saha Tanu and Prof. Mizanur Rahman Manik were present on the occasion.
The Cosmos Foundation, the non-profit philanthropic and cultural arm of the Cosmos Group, and the Liberation War Museum signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Wednesday with the aim of boosting their cooperation and collaboration.
Under it, the Cosmos Foundation will offer its services to the Museum based on its expertise in relevant fields, as also financial support as and when necessary on mutually agreed terms.
Enayetullah Khan, Chairman of the Cosmos Foundation, expressed his deep satisfaction with regard to the MoU.
He said, “We are delighted to take the ties between the two organizations to newer heights with the signing. The Foundation has high-tech capability of digital recording, editing and presentation of digital content.”
Pledging the Foundation’s full support to the Museum, he added: “We are willing to open our technical resources for the Museum’s use and benefit.”
The MoU has identified several key areas of cooperation. These are : first, financial and technical support to be extended by the Foundation to the Museum’s annual Liberation Docfest and Filmfest events; second, support by the Foundation , having 360 digital cameras and necessary expertise, to conduct of virtual tours of the museum on pro bono basis; third, offer of assistance by the Foundation to the museum for the holding of various artistic and cultural events; and fourth , commitment by both sides to identify newer areas of cooperation from time to time.
The Liberation War museum was established in 1996 by the Muktijuddha Smriti Trust. It has since earned overwhelming recognition at home and abroad, as an organization of national importance in collecting, preserving and presenting the glorious history of the Bangladesh Liberation War.
The Cosmos Foundation, which commenced its journey as a philanthropic organization in 2015, devoted to the promotion of art and culture, has now emerged as a renowned think-tank hosting seminars and discussions on issues of global and regional significance with well-known international scholars and thought leaders as speakers.
Members of its Advisory Body are Dr Danilo Turk, former President of Slovenia, Ambassador George Moose Vice Chairman of the United States Institute for Peace; Ambassador Li Debiao, a distinguished retired Chinese diplomat, former Foreign Secretary Krishnan Srinivasan of India and Professor Haider Khan of the Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver.
Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, former Foreign Affairs Advisor, Government of Bangladesh, is the President of the Cosmos Foundation.
German architect Anna Heringer has won the prestigious Obel Award 2020 for the Anandaloy, a community therapy centre and textile workshop in Dinajpur, for its architectural excellence.
The Danish architecture honour is given annually to a building or architectural project that showcases excellence in architectural achievement, reports Wallpaper.com.
Anandaloy, which means ‘place of deep joy’, houses a therapy centre for people with disabilities on the ground floor and a fair-trade textile manufacturing workshop for local women on its first floor.
Made out of rammed earth and bamboo, the structure explores age-old local building techniques in soft curves and textures that connect with its place and the region’s vernacular.
“The key motivation always is to use architecture as a tool to improve lives,” says the architect, who has spent part of her life in Bangladesh, is the UNESCO Chair of Earthen Architecture, Building Cultures, and Sustainable Development and focuses on the use of natural and readily available building materials.
“The vision behind, and motivation for my work is to explore and use architecture as a medium to strengthen cultural and individual confidence, to support local economies and to foster the ecological balance. Joyful living is a creative and active process and I am deeply interested in the sustainable development of our society and our built environment,” said Anna.
“For me, sustainability is a synonym for beauty: a building that is harmonious in its design, structure, technique and use of materials, as well as with the location, the environment, the user, the socio-cultural context. This, for me, is what defines its sustainable and aesthetic value,” she added.
Respecting local heritage and crafts, the project was made using only local materials, construction methods and workforce. This - climate-positive design and sustainability on all levels - was a key aspect in the judging process.
The jury this year included Martha Schwartz (founder, Martha Schwartz Partners, USA), Kjetil Trædal Thorsen (co-founder, Snöhetta, Norway), Louis Becker (design principal and partner, Henning Larsen, Denmark), Dr Wilhelm Vossenkuhl (professor emeritus of philosophy, Germany), and XU Tiantian (founding principal, DnA, Beijing, China).
“The Anandaloy building is not only a spatial solution to a number of both basic and specific human needs, the project as a whole is a multi-layered response to the challenge of mending by cleverly interweaving sustainable, social, and architectural design,” says the judging panel in a statement.
Louis Becker, lead partner and design principal of Henning Larsen Architects, has been involved in setting up the award since its inception.
“This prize was set up to promote new possibilities and the different directions architecture could have. This year, the winning project has a very direct social impact - it is doing something every day to change the lives of people locally. It also showcases what you can do by using local knowledge. It is very much aligned with what we wanted to do when we created the award,” said Louis.
The 19th edition of the month-long Asian Art Biennale dedicated to the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation and the Golden Jubilee of Independence will commence March 1 next year at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA).
“We’re eyeing a regular event like the previous years but we’ll be closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation and act accordingly. The festivity had to be shifted from December this year due to the pandemic," BSA Public Relations Officer Hasan Mahmud told UNB.
He said last time they hosted artists from 68 countries and this time, they are welcoming artists from 100 countries to join this special art extravaganza.
"This 19th Asian Art Biennale will be a great opportunity for us to uphold the pride and glory of our country by showcasing the artistic treasures to the world as it’ll be adding extra festivities to the occasions of the Birth Centenary of our Father of the Nation and the Golden Jubilee celebration of our Liberation War and Independence," Mahmud said.
Artists and art curators from across the world are invited to complete the registration and submission of participation before November 30. All artworks should reach the Asian Art Biennale Cell, Fine Arts Department of BSA on or before January 31, 2021 - which is also the deadline for the participating artists and art curators from abroad to submit their application for VISA on arrival.
The deadline for the participants to arrive in Bangladesh to attend the exhibition is February 26.
Interested artists aged above 22 years who have participated in at least two international-level exhibitions (for foreign participants) and two national-level exhibitions (for Bangladeshi participants) are welcome for registration, according to its website.
Artists may apply through email with soft copies of documents or directly with hard copies delivered through courier or in-person to the organisers’ office at BSA.
Eighteen editions of this international art exhibition have successfully been organised since 1981, cementing its legacy as the longest-running international art biennale event in Asia. From the 17th edition in 2016, countries from Europe and America regions are participating.
Details of the exhibition are available at https://www.asianartbiennale.org.bd/