Kolkata-based writer Avishek Sarker and Bangladeshi poet Rafiquzzaman Rony won the Gemcon Young Literature Award 2019 and Gemcon Young Poetry Award 2019 respectively at Dhaka Lit Fest.
Each received crest and Tk 100,000 at a ceremony which took place at Abdul Karim Shaittyabisharad (AKSB) auditorium in Bangla Academy.
Rafiquzzaman Rony said, "I'm overwhelmed and speechless. I thank the hosts and the jury for choosing me."
Avishek Sarker said, “I am honoured to receive such a prestigious prize.”
They won the awards for their manuscripts, “Nishiddha” and “DhoasharTamate Rong”.
The jury board included poet Sajjad Sharif, poet Mridul Dasgupta, poet Kumar Chakraborty, Professor Mostak Ahmed and writer Papri Rahman.
Dhaka, Nov 6 (UNB) - Thibault Cauvin, the only guitarist in the world to win 13 international first prizes and known as “the champion of classical guitar”, performed at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy’s National Theatre Hall on Tuesday.
Organised by Alliance Française de Dhaka, the programme was arranged in association with the support of the Embassy of France to Bangladesh, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Oryx Bangladesh and Gandharbpur Water Treatment SNC (a joint venture of Suez International and OTV-Veolia).
Ambassador of France to Bangladesh Jean-Marin Schuh and Alliance Française de Dhaka’s Director Olivier Dintinger said they were proud to present this French guitar maestro’s solo concert in Bangladesh and expect to thrive the cultural bonding further between the two countries.
Throughout the concert, the classical guitarist enchanted the audiences with his incredible solo scores such as ‘Ulan Bator’, ‘Berlin’, ‘Kolkata’, ‘Istanbul’- to name a few. Prior to every performance, he described the stories and themes of each creation.
He also performed a surprising, unannounced score at the end of the concert in collaboration with Gazi Abdul Hakim, a renowned flautist of Bangladesh.
Talking to UNB about his mesmerized Bangladeshi audience in the venue, Cauvin expressed his gratefulness saying “Never really imagined this sort of overwhelming appreciation and I am very happy to perform here in Bangladesh.”
Thibault Cauvin has been touring extensively for 15 years now and playing in the most prestigious halls in 120 countries across the globe. He has played in over 1000 solo concerts at prominent venues like New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow, the Shanghai Concert Hall, and the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London’s South Bank, to name a few.
The world-renowned guitar icon will share his story of mastering the classical guitar in a seminar titled ‘A discussion with Thibault Cauvin on his life and journey’ on Thursday, 7 November 2019 at Auditorium Nouvelle Vague, Alliance Française de Dhaka.
Dhaka, Nov 5 (UNB) - Renowned Assamese-Indian playback singer, lyricist, musician, poet and film-maker Dr Bhupen Hazarika’s 8th death anniversary was observed on Tuesday. On the occasion, a three-day commemorative cultural fest titled "Mora Jatri Eki Taronir" began on Tuesday evening at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA)’s National Music and Dance auditorium.
BSA and Assamese cultural organisation Byatikram MASDO jointly organised the three-day event, featuring discussions, songs and dance performances on the legendary artist.
Presided over by BSA director Liaquat Ali Lucky, the event was also attended by Byatikram MASDO President Dr Saumen Bharatiya, Renowned Assamese journalist Ajit Kumar Bhuiyan, Dr Bhupen Hazarika’s younger brother Samar Hazarika and Padma-Shri winner Surya Kanta Hazarika.
A book, titled ‘Ami Ek Jajabor’ written by Surya Kanta Hazarika, was unveiled at the programme.
A cultural segment took place after the seminar and the book launching ceremony, featuring BSA and Assamese artists. A number of songs of Dr Bhupen Hazarika was presented at the function. Besides, there were several dance performances.
The legendary Assamese music artist Dr Bhupen Hazarika achieved India’s highest civilian awards, including Bharat Ratna (2019, posthumous), Padma Vibhushan (2012), Padma Bhushan (2001) and Padma Shri (1977).
He also received Assam’s highest civilian award Asom Ratna (2009), Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1992) and became a National Award winning film director for the best Assamese feature film of 1961, ‘Shakuntala’.
Known for his immensely popular, soulful Bengali song ‘Manush Manusher Jonno’- the maestro of Assam passed away on November 5, 2011.
Against the modern backdrop of oil refineries, strip malls and gated communities, hundreds of reenactors will gather Friday in southeastern Louisiana to remember a time when slavery flourished as a blight on America and some enslaved people fought back.
They plan to reenact the largest slave rebellion in American history.
Dressed in period costumes and holding machetes or rifles they will march 26 miles (42 kilometers) over two days from the sugar plantation country along the Mississippi River to the New Orleans suburbs.
"I think it will be an amazing experience," said artist Dread Scott , who conceived of the project, and whose works address racial injustice and oppression.
"Seeing hundreds of black folk with machetes and muskets and sickles and sabers, flags flying, chanting to traditional African drumming, is going be an amazing moment. And people would be like, 'What am I looking at? This doesn't make sense,'" he said. "It will be an area where people can learn a lot and think a lot."
Reenactments have long been a staple of Civil War heritage in the South, where people don Confederate and Union uniforms and stage mock battles. But this effort seeks to illustrate the struggle over slavery that came to be the heart of that war.
Scott first envisioned it about eight years ago. He'd wanted to stage a slave rebellion reenactment — maybe Nat Turner's 1831 uprising in Virginia — but then a colleague told him about the uprising in Louisiana.
Slaves across a stretch of plantations organized for months before launching their rebellion on Jan. 8, 1811. Over two days the group grew to an estimated 200 to 500 people, according to Daniel Rasmussen's book "American Uprising: The Untold Story of America's Largest Slave Revolt."
Their goal was to march on New Orleans and establish a free republic. The rebellion was inspired in part by the Haitian revolution but conceived by people born in Louisiana and Africa, said Dr. Ibrahima Seck, the director of research at the Whitney Plantation and a historical advisor to the reenactment.
Most were field hands who toiled in hot, wet and humid conditions that contributed to their 13% yearly death rate, he said. Rasmussen writes that slaves in Louisiana's sugar plantations faced "more brutal punishments and lives shorter lives" than elsewhere in North America.
Scott said the project sprung from his interest in how people liberate themselves and in slavery's continuing effects on America today. He was also intrigued to learn about the little-known rebellion's goals and how close it came to success.
"You can't actually understand American society if you don't understand slavery, and you can't understand slavery if you don't understand slave revolts," he said.
The reenactment comes at a time of heightened racial tension in the United States, following the election of President Donald Trump in 2016. One of the most contentious episodes came in August 2017 when hundreds of white nationalists descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, to protest the planned removal of a Confederate statue. One person was killed when a white nationalist plowed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters.
Bob Snead, who heads the arts group Antenna that's producing the rebellion reenactment with Scott, said that was a key turning point. Some questioned whether the reenactment should even go on, but Snead said there was also a strong feeling that the project was more important than ever.
Organizers have taken precautions. They'll have law enforcement and private security, and reenactors are advised not to engage with anyone along the route who might harass them.
The very public nature of the project should help, Scott said. They've reached out to area residents and will have lots of community involvement.
Scott emphasizes that the reenactment is a community effort, where months and years of preparation that brought people together are as much a part of the art as the event itself. They've held outreach events in the parishes the marchers will traverse. They've filed for permits, staged rehearsals and held sewing circles where people have come together to create costumes.
Part of the challenge was that there were few paintings of slaves to refer to, said Allison L. Parker who's responsible for the costumes. She combed through pictures of runaway slaves and paintings and images of enslaved people in South America and the Caribbean for research.
For many of the African American participants, it's important to highlight the fact that enslaved people did not accept their fate. They fought back. Julie Joseph has been coming to the sewing circles and will take part in the reenactment. She said black history in America is often overlooked or ignored.
"With this project, it's highlighting the tenacity and the resilience that the people who were enslaved had to want to break free, to want to create their own republic," she said. "I think that's something that's been really encouraging to me and something that'll be really encouraging to a lot of other black people to know that I come from fighters."
Karen Kaia Livers, the community outreach organizer for Antenna, said there's a popular misconception that slaves in southern Louisiana and New Orleans were happy and that their enslavers were "good people."
"That's not the truth. Slavery is still slavery. And owning people and belonging to someone else is not freedom, not what America is all about," she said.
After a climactic battle between the slaves and planters, the rebellion was crushed. Rasmussen describes how the planters chopped the heads off the slaves' corpses — about 100 altogether — and displayed them along the road going from New Orleans into the plantation country.
But the reenactment will end with the reenactors gathering in New Orleans' Congo Square where slaves used to gather on Sundays. Scott said he did not want to end by focusing on the brutality of white people but on the concept of black people trying to create their own republic.
"I'm choosing to focus on a vision of freedom and emancipation," he said.
The ninth edition of Dhaka Lit Fest, an international literature festival, begins on Thursday on the Bangla Academy premises, aiming to create a bridge between native and international literary figures.
Organisers announced the details of the three-day event at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club on Tuesday.
This year’s fest line-up features award-winning author and Booker Prize finalist Monica Ali (Bangladeshi-born British writer), literary icon Shankar (India), Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Jeffrey Gettleman (American journalist), historian William Dalrymple (Scottish historian and writer), writer Shashi Tharoor (India), DSC Prize-winning writer HM Naqvi (Pakistan), poet Tishani Doshi (India), award-winning author Swapnamoy Chakraborty (India), poet and journalist Mridul Dasgupta (India), Bangladeshi writers Syed Manzoorul Islam, Imdadul Haq Milon, Kaiser Haq and Shaheen Akhtar , among others.
Sadaf Saz, one of the directors of the event, said over 200 speakers, performers and thinkers, representing five continents, will take part in the 3-day event in over 100 sessions with parallel sessions going on in both Bangla and English, which are free and open to all.
“One of the special highlights of this year will be screening of ‘Hasina: A Daughter's Tale’ and an appearance by Shankar on the closing day," she added.
Gemcon Literary Awards, the highest monetary value literary prize in Bangladesh, will be awarded at the festival.
"Our sole purpose is to uphold Bangladesh's secularism, democracy and literature to the world," said SadafSaz.
She also announced that the DLF 2020 will be dedicated to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Dhaka Lit Fest is supported by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and hosted by Bangla Academy. Dhaka Tribune and Bangla Tribune are the Title Sponsors of the event.
Dhaka Tribune Editor Zafar Sobhan said, "The goal of Dhaka Lit Fest is to bring the world to Bangladesh and Bangladesh to the world...we're focusing on Bangladeshi writers."
Bangla Tribune Editor Zulfiqer Russel and City Bank Managing Director Masrur Arefin also spoke at the press conference.
Independent University Bangladesh is the gold sponsor while BRAC Bank, South East Bank and Dhaka Bank are the silver sponsors. Other partners include Mutual Trust Bank, Nagad, bikash, Scholastica, University of Asia Pacific, British Council, Hotel Intercontinental, Norwegian Embassy in Dhaka, Goethe Institut and EMK Center.
Cosmos Books is one of the publishing houses taking part the festival. It will launch the first book of famous visual artist Nazia Andaleeb Preema titled ‘Preema Donna’ on November 8. Preema herself will be present at the launch event and is likely to deliver an interactive performance.
Thirteen other titles, including Bangabandhu: Epitome of a Nation by Enayetullah Khan, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, Boats: A Treasure of Bangladesh by Enayetullah Khan and Yves Marre, will be available at the Cosmos Books Stall with discounted prices.
Free online registration is open at www.register.dhakalitfest.com while any update of the event will be shared through the festival's website at dhakalitfest.com and at facebook.com/dhakalitfest.