German language school and cultural organization Gothe-Institut Bangladesh has launched a funding initiative titled “Futures beyond the Self” for all Bangladeshi artists/artistes, art collectives, cultural activists, and cultural organizations for their innovative projects.
According to the institution, the initiative seeks to provide a space for new ideas to flourish and for continued societal and collective engagements, as well as to support both individuals and collectives in their endeavour to reflect, critique, and suggest alternative futures and pathways of “being in the world”.
The offer is applicable for but not limited to all individually or collectively practicing visual artists, writers, choreographers, photographers, film makers, performers, media artists, musicians, mime artists, cultural journalists, cultural educators, cultural activists and more, who need to apply for getting the respective project proposal funded under “Futures beyond the Self”.
A jury of artists and cultural activists together with representatives of the Goethe-Institut Bangladesh will review all applications and select the projects to be supported by the Goethe-Institut Bangladesh.
The criteria for the selection of a specific project proposal is based on factors such as the originality of the project idea; the artistic and creative as well as academic excellence, the clarity of the theme, objectives and formats, matching budget plan, realistic evidence of working in the field of art, research, or learning for at least three years and previous experience implementing or participating in public art projects and shows.
The Goethe-Institut Bangladesh will award several projects within the total fund of 5 lakh under the “Futures beyond the Self” initiative, while each of the projects and applicants can apply for support for their projects of up to 70,000 BDT.
Duly filled application form in PDF format including a detailed budget for the project implementation along with a CV has to be sent via email on or before October 5, 2020 at firstname.lastname@example.org. Goethe-Institut Bangladesh will communicate the results of all successful and unsuccessful applications to the respective artists via email after 15 October 15, 2020. All projects have to be fully implemented by December 10, 2020.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed an elaborate and lavish marriage tradition in Indian-controlled Kashmir within months that had remained virtually unaltered for centuries.
As Kashmir's wedding season sets in, the normally lavish celebrations have been drastically downsized.
Instead of three days of feasting, elaborate rituals and huge gatherings are gone. Now the ceremonies are attended by a small number of close relatives and neighbours.
With restrictions in place and many weddings canceled, the traditional master chefs have little or no work.
Months before the pandemic, Haseeb Mushtaq drew up a guest list of hundreds and grand plans for celebrating his wedding in May.
But then the pandemic blocked him from traveling home for his wedding from Dubai, where he has an engineering job. When he finally arrived home for his postponed wedding in September, he could only invite about a hundred people, mostly from his extended family and close friends.
“Marriage is a once-in-a-lifetime affair and I feel really bad that we couldn’t invite most of our relatives, friends and neighbours,” Haseeb said at the ceremony.
“The hardest part was deciding whom to invite and whom not.”
Still, Haseeb considers himself lucky. One of his friends working in Saudi Arabia was unable to travel home for his own marriage and had to delay it until next year.
Wazwan: A centuries old tradition
Kashmiris normally hold elaborate marriage feasts, with meals cooked over firewood through the night by chiefs called “wazas.”
Hundreds of guests are invited for lunch and dinner and served up to 30-course meals.
The feast is called “wazwan.”
The peculiarity of a wazwan is that every part of a lamb, except the hide, head and hooves, is used for making different dishes.
Groups of four diners squat around large copper platters heaped with rice and various mutton and chicken dishes. More dishes are served by the chefs, dressed in crisp white baggy trousers and tunics.
The wazwan tradition is so entrenched across all classes in Kashmir that awareness of the wastage of high-quality food has not produced any restraint. Numerous attempts by social groups and the government have failed to instill any significant austerity in the food.
However, the pandemic has largely achieved that in a matter of months.
Wedding ceremonies require prior permission from the authorities, and guest limits and social distancing are mandatory.
Most feasts are restricted to 10 dishes and the chefs are advised to wear protective suits and gloves.
‘Small, saddening change’
Health officials say 63,990 coronavirus cases have been reported in the region through September 20, including 1,001 deaths.
For master chef Ghulam Qadir and his team of over three dozen cooks, the pandemic has caused his earnings to be badly hit for the second straight year.
Last year, India suddenly scrapped disputed Kashmir’s statehood in August and imposed an unprecedented security clampdown, creating economic disaster and the cancellation of most wedding celebrations.
Qadir said the pandemic has posed another challenge to the cooks — keeping themselves and guests safe while cooking and serving the marriage feasts.
“It is sad to see our hundreds of years of tradition changing in few months due to the pandemic. We used to eat from one big platter and now we have a small plate for each guest,” Bashir Ahmed said at a relative’s marriage party. “It looks like a small change, but this kind of change saddens me.”
India’s iconic Taj Mahal has reopened its doors to visitors after six months - the longest it has ever been shut since it was built in the 17th century.
It was closed as the country went into a stringent lockdown in March to halt the spread of coronavirus.
It will now allow only 5,000 visitors daily and enforce Covid-19 safety measures as cases spike, reports BBC.
The Taj Mahal is one of the world's leading tourist attractions, and drew as many as 70,000 people every day before the pandemic.
The 17th-Century marble mausoleum was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his queen Mumtaz Mahal. It was last shut briefly in 1978 when Agra city, where it is located, flooded. And before that, the monument closed for a few days in 1971, during a war between India and Pakistan.
Selfies allowed, not group photos
The entire campus was sanitised before the doors opened at 8am and all officials were seen wearing masks and face shields, local journalist Yogesh Kumar Singh, who was at the monument when it opened, told the BBC.
Authorities said there would be temperature checks at the entrance, and visitors would be asked to use digital payment methods to buy tickets.
They have also been told to follow social distancing on the property.
While visitors can take selfies or solo photographs, group photos are not allowed.
"But there is no rush, it feels so unlike Taj Mahal," Singh said. "I think many people will not turn up as long as cases continue to spike."
India has reported more than five million cases so far, and Uttar Pradesh, where the Taj is located, has the country's fifth-highest caseload.
The Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre (IGCC), High Commission of India in Dhaka organized a virtual poem recitation event “Tribute to Bangabandhu- Kobir Konthey Kobita (Poems by Poets)” in collaboration with the Bongiya Shahitya Sangskriti Samsad (Bangiya Society for Literature and Culture) on Tuesday.
The event broadcasted live on IGCC's Facebook page on Tuesday night, showcasing 16 renowned Bangladeshi poets who performed solo recitations of self-composed poems showering tributes for the statesmanship, qualities of benevolence, his pragmatism and the supreme sacrifice the Father of the Nation made for his country.
Marking the ongoing 'Mujib Borsho' celebration (birth centenary of the Father of the Nation), the great leader has also been reflected in these poems as the subject and as an epitome of inspiration for the generations to come.
Ekushey Padak, Independence award and Bangla Academy Award winning eminent poet Nirmalendu Goon, Member Secretary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Trust Sheikh Hafizur Rahman, Bangla Academy Director General Habibullah Sirajee, Chief Coordinator of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Birth Centenary Celebration National Implementation Committee Dr. Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, Ekushey Padak winning poet Nazmun Nesa Piari, Bangla Academy award winning poet Maruful Islam, former Secretary of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs Azizur Rahman Aziz, National Human Rights Commission Chairman Nasima Begum, among others, recited their self-written poems at the event, honoring the Father of the Nation and his eventful life.
The webcast is available for viewers on the Facebook page of IGCC at www.facebook.com/IndiraGandhiCulturalCentre/
Saied Muhammad Zareef Saleh, who is only 13-years-old, has become the youngest jury member of the International Art Contest ‘The Future We Want’.
Perception Change Project of UN Geneva on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations organised the programme, said a press release issued on Sunday.
US citizens or lawfully permanent residents from 44 countries participated (youth 13-15 years) the programme.
In the first step of the competition, the artworks received 17,000 online votes and finally the 3 winners were selected by the jury.
Director General Tatiana Valovaya of the United Nations office at Geneva appreciated Zareef on 27th August 2020.
Zareef is the child of Deputy Commissioner (Headquarters) of Barisal Metropolitan Police ARM Saleh and engineer Nishat couple.
Earlier, Saied Muhammad Zareef Saleh became winner of several national and international art contests including Kids4HumanRights of UN Drawing Contest.