Oil painting artist Akter Mahmud Kajal’s first solo oil painting exhibition titled ‘Muktijuddho O Noishorgik Bangladesh’ (Liberation War and Natural Beauty of Bangladesh) started at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA)’s National Art Gallery on Monday.
Artist Kajal, an oil painting artist who never received any institutionalized training in art and never participated in any exhibition before- in his debut solo exhibition honours the Liberation War in the month it all started in 1971.
International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) chief prosecutor and Language Movement veteran Advocate Golam Arif Tipu inaugurated the 10-day-long exhibition at Gallery - 6 of the National Art Gallery.
The inauguration ceremony, presided over by BSA director general Liaquat Ali Lucky, was also joined by Ekushey Padak winner eminent artist Samarjit Roy Chowdhury as the special guest.
“The liberation war of Bangladesh enlightened so many artists to explore and display their creativity and talents. Kajal, a self-made artist whom I know since he was a kid, is certainly one of them and this exhibition is just an example of his talent,” Golam Arif Tipu said at inaugurating the exhibition.
Expressing his heartfelt gratitude to BSA for arranging the exhibition, artist Kajal said “Although I do not have institutional education on arts, I tried to bring the very best of my observation on the liberation war through my canvas in this debut exhibition.”
Thanking the artist, BSA director general Liaquat Ali Lucky informed that over 850 artists are preparing for the glorious Mujib-Year celebration event on March 17 and artist Kajal officially presented his paintings as souvenirs for the programme.
A total of 102 oil paintings of Kajal are being put on display in this 10-day-long exhibition, which will conclude on March 11. The exhibition is open for all from 11 am to 8 pm and Friday 3 pm to 8 pm.
A grand concert titled ‘Pledge to End TB in Bangladesh’ was held at the Hatirjheel Amphitheater in the capital on Sunday evening.
The concert was arranged by USAID’s ‘Ujjiban’, a communication project to bring about Social and Behavioral change, marking the upcoming birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the upcoming World Tuberculosis Day on March 24.
As part of the year-long plans to fight to eliminate the disease during Mujib-Borsho, the concert was also joined by Save the Children and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as the organizers alongside the Ujjiban project, led by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs (CCP).
Hosted by Bangladeshi stand-up comedian Abu Hena Rony of ‘Mirakkel’ fame, the concert was joined and performed by noted television artists and popular Bangla band ‘Joler Gaan’ as the headliners. The programme was attended by a large crowd in the middle of Hatirjheel at the Amphitheatre.
“As today we are here for a special purpose, we think we are united against Tuberculosis. We believe we do not want this disease to win over our lives so we sincerely wish and hope that not a single person present here would be a patient of Tuberculosis, and the whole Bangladesh will eventually be TB free,” said Joler Gaan’s vocalist Rahul Anand.
A free-health camp was also arranged for free HIV test and consultation, by Save the Children and International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) outside the venue.
In addition to that, there were free Tuberculosis test-vans provided by Brac for free Tuberculosis testing.
One of the ten highest-risked countries in the world for TB, Bangladesh treated more than 2.5 million TB cases in 2018. About 364,000 Bangladeshis develop active Tuberculosis disease and more than 70,000 die from it every year, according to the journals.
The Amar Ekushey Boi Mela has an emotional and cultural attachment to the people of Bangladesh. This year’s edition of the fair, the largest of its kind in Bangladesh, concluded on Saturday drawing a huge crowd throughout February and seeing a record number of books launched.
Of the 4,919 books published this year, 1,585 were poetry, the Bangla Academy said.
Others include 731 novels, 644 story-books, 271 essays, 203 children books, 152 Liberation War-themed books, 149 biographical-autobiographical books, 144 books on Bangabandhu, 112 research-related publications, 111 books on rhymes, 96 books on history, 83 science-related books, 82 books based on travelling, 67 detective and science fictions, 56 translations, 40 books on comedy, 36 books on medicine and medical science, 34 books on drama and dramatics, 20 religious books, 14 dictionaries, 13 political books, 8 series of essays and 268 other books have been published throughout the fair.
According to book-selling e-commerce site Rokomari.com, writer Arif Azad was this year’s best-seller writer. Freelance Nasim stood as the second best-seller and young literateur Sadat Hossain ranked third.
Apart from them, eminent writers such as Dr Muhammed Zafar Iqbal, Farid Ahmed, social influencers such as Ayman Sadiq, Sadman Sadiq, Sakib Bin Rashid, poet Marjuk Rasel, YouTuber Salman Muktadir and others had been ranked as the frontrunners throughout the fair for their books.
However, readers and scholars have questioned the quality of many books.
A common tendency of the writers was noticeable - the rush for publishing and bringing the books out specifically for the fair. Many fans welcomed the new flow of writers and books coming out of this process, while some questioned the necessity of the rush.
This year’s fair was dedicated to Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Several seminars were held at the main stage of the fair venue at 4pm every day from February 3 to 29 followed by cultural events. Many of the discussions were featured on Bangabandhu and books written on his life and works.
Like the previous years, the venue this year was extended to nearby Suhrawardy Udyan. With the land earmarked for the fair expanded to 8,00,000 sq ft. A total of 873 units were allocated to the 560 organisations.
The authorities have allotted 179 units at the Bangla Academy ground to 126 organisatons and 694 at the Suhrawardy Udyan to 694 organisations.
First extended to Suhrawardy Udyan in 2013 to accommodate more participants, this year the fairgoers had a crazy rush at the ground since the academy premise was mostly used for a variety of arrangements.
The duration of the fair this year was short even after being organised during a leap-year. Also, due to the DNCC-DSCC election on February 1 as well as Bangla Academy’s renewed calendar-suggested same day celebrations of Valentine’s Day and Pahela Falgun, some of the sellers expressed dissatisfaction.
The third International Art Festival 2020 Nilphamari concluded on a high note.
Artists from five countries created a cornucopia of artworks in a four-day art camp. The results were on display at the idyllic ambience of Nilsagor, the festival venue.
State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak graced the occasion as the chief guest while former cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor presided over the programme.
Convener of the festival, renowned artist Mohammad Eunus, spoke at the event while the curator of festival Md Harun-ar-Rashid Tutul elaborated the details of the arrangement.
Palak expressed his sincere wish to hold this iconic festival at Chalan Beel, a vast water body adjacent to Natore, the minister’s hometown.
He also announced to set up an animation studio at the Department of Graphic Design, Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka, and a 100-crore project ‘Nilphamari ICT Park’ in Nilphamari.
Asaduzzaman Noor thanked all concerned for successfully holding the festival.
He said Five generations of artists spontaneously participated in the grand festival where they created a number of artworks on Bangabandhu and the beautiful nature and cultural heritage of the place.
Contemporary artists, foreign artists and country’s renowned artists worked together and participated in various art and cultural activities. Participating artists’ positive vibes and close collaboration with each other kept the venue vibrant in all four days, he said.
He said the artists and the organisers’ commitment to reconstruct a beautiful Bangladesh through innovative art practice and the projection of Bangladesh’s rich culture in the festival has been achieved significantly.
He said holding such a gigantic festival in a remote area of Bangladesh is not an easy job for which the Art Festival 2020 Nilphamari Organising Committee together with Vision 2021, Nilphamari, and Art Bangla, Dhaka, deserves immense accolades.
Vowing to spread the love for literature among the young generation, the two-day long community book fair in the city's Gulshan ended Saturday.
The first edition of the Boi Mela, consisting of over 15 stalls, was arranged by Gulshan Society at Gulshan Lake Park.
The vibrant literature festival was attended by residents of Gulshan and visitors from outside. Fitness enthusiasts who stroll the park regularly were in for a pleasant experience for two days.
Shukla Sarwat Siraj, Secretary General of Gulshan Society, on the closing day expressed hope that the fair will be held regularly in future.
"The fair has been arranged to facilitate the residents of Gulshan area ... this area is at a great distance from Amar Ekushey Book Fair and so a separate book fair here will help the book lovers in Gulshan," she said.
The final day saw a comparatively large crowd.
Visitors expressed satisfaction for the neatly arranged segments on contemporary literature. They also wished that such essential festival will continue in future.
A small cultural function was arranged before the closure of the fair.
The literature festival had stalls from renowned publishers and other organisations including Cosmos Books, University Press Limited, Pathak Samabesh, Boi Bichitra, Ignite Publications and more.