Festivals like Pitha Utsab needs to be spread all over Bangladesh: KM Khalid
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid on Thursday said Jatiya Pitha Utsab (National Rice Cake Festival) is an original and integral concept representing Bengali culture. And festivals like this should be spread all over the country, he added. "We plan to hold this festival at the district level in the future, and the upazila level as well." Read more: Art exhibition, Pitha Utsab held at FSA The state minister was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 10-day Sixteenth Jatiya Pitha Utsab organised by the National Pitha Utsab Udjapan Parishad and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) at the BSA premises in the capital. Liaquat Ali Lucky, director general of the BSA and convener of the 16th National Pitha Utsav Udjapan Parishad 1429, presided over the inauguration ceremony. Dance maestro Amanul Haque was also present. M Hamid, cultural personality and president of the Jatiya Pitha Utsab Udjapan Parishad, joined the event as the main speaker. Read more: Pitha sales surge as winter nears Fifty stalls are showcasing more than 200 pithas (traditional cakes) at the 16th Jatiya Pitha Utsab, and the festival is open to all from 3pm to 9pm till January 28.
Japan is the biggest development partner of Bangladesh: KM Khalid
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid on Saturday said Japan is the biggest development partner of Bangladesh. "Japan has played an important role in our economic development since our independence by contributing to the infrastructure development of Bangladesh. Japan, the land of the rising sun, the land of peace, the unyielding nation, has always stood by us," he said. The State Minister spoke at an event marking the historic Hiroshima Day Saturday night. Theater group Swapnadal organized the event at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA)'s Experimental Theatre Hall. "At the end of World War II, the atomic bombs explosion on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9) by the imperialist United States was the most brutal and atrocious killing in the history of the world. As a result of dropping the atomic bomb, 80,000 people died instantly in the city of Hiroshima," the State Minister said. Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki joined the event as the special guest, and lauded the initiative of Swapnadal and thanked the State Minister as well as Bangladeshi people for their compassion to the Hiroshima tragedy. Read:'Rhythmic Abstraction' begins at Alliance Francaise de Dhaka "During my stay in Bangladesh since October, 2019, I was impressed by the fact that so many Bangladeshis are familiar with the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The compassion shown today by Bangladeshis is really significant to us, thus the `Hiroshima Day’ will strengthen mutual understanding and amicable relationship between Japan and Bangladesh." The event included a panel discussion, an exhibition of video and installation art, anti-war photography, and more. An exclusive exhibition of anti-war photography, film, and installation art was also launched at the Experimental Theatre Hall premise. Additionally, the group showcased the 117th show of its anti-war drama 'Tringsha Shatabdi' at Experimental Theatre Hall. “For the past 21 years, Swapnadal has organized events to commemorate Hiroshima Day. As a theater group, we believe it is our duty to educate the public about the danger of nuclear weapons pose to the human race,” Swapnadal founder Zahid Repon said adding, "We demand a nuclear-weapons-free planet.” The first city to be struck by a nuclear weapon was Hiroshima. On August 6, 1945, Little Boy, an atomic bomb, was dropped on Hiroshima by the United States Army Air Forces. On August 9, 1945, the Fat Man nuclear bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Between 129,000 and 226,000 persons were murdered in the two bombings, the majority of them were civilians.
Notable works of Bengali literature to be translated to Korean: KM Khalid
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid on Monday said significant books in Bengali are being considered to be translated into Korean language and the translation department of the Bangla Academy will take necessary steps in this regard. The State Minister shared this information while attending the award giving ceremony of the "Ujan Book Review Contest 2021" for two translated books 'Korean Poetry' and 'Korean Story' as the chief guest. The two books were published by the publishing house Ujan, in collaboration with the Literature Translation Institute, Korea at the Poet Sufia Kamal Auditorium of the Bangladesh National Museum in Shahbagh. Read: Poet Nurul Huda appointed Bangla Academy director general At the event, KM Khalid said that South Korea is a true friend of Bangladesh. After independence, South Korea extended its helping hand in rebuilding the country, and 2023 will mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and South Korea. He also added that South Korea is the third largest development partner of Bangladesh, with about 75,000 jobs filled by Bangladeshis at the Korean Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) in Chittagong, and about 20,000 Bangladeshis working in South Korea. Moreover, about one and a half thousand Bangladeshi students, teachers and researchers are pursuing higher studies at various levels in Korea’s world class education system. “Overall, South Korea is one of the leading development partners of Bangladesh,’ Khalid said at the event. Mentioning that Bangla Academy is an organization dedicated to the development of the Bengali language and culture established in the context of the Language Movement of 1952, Khalid expressed his hope that the academy would be able to fulfill its major objective. Read: 10 picked for Bangla Academy Literary Award Chaired by Director General of Bangla Academy Poet Muhammad Nurul Huda, the event was also joined by Lee Jang-Keun, Ambassador of South Korea to Bangladesh, as the special guest speaker. Chanda Mahbub, translator of 'Korean Poetry', Saraishwarya Muhammad, translator of 'Korean Story', poet Sohail Hasan Ghalib and translator Sheuli Fateha also spoke on the occasion. At the ceremony, KM Khalid also handed over the prizes to the three winners of the book review contest and ten selected participants.
No record in National Archives can be destroyed; bill passed
The Bangladesh National Archive Bill, 2021 was passed in Parliament on Thursday with a strong provision that no record can be destroyed. State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid moved the Bill, brought to replace the National Archive Ordinance, 1983 in line with a High Court order, was passed by voice vote. The provision of destroying any record has been dropped from the law. So, no record stored in the National Archives can be destroyed. Read:Tougher maritime law in the offing; bill placed in JS The soft copies of classified documents will have to be stored in Kaliakoir Data Centre after a certain period of time. There will be a 17-member advisory council for three years for the National Archives and its Director General (DG) will be appointed by the government. As per the proposed law, the National Archives will provide records to any individual upon application and provide applicable fees. Regarding sending any file, which is above 75 years’ old and has historical, cultural and literature value, to abroad, it will require permission from the Director General. If the DG thinks that this will go against the country then the DG can deny the permission. Read: JS passes Kurigram Agricultural University Bill The aggrieved person can apply to the government within 14 days of informing him officially and the decision of the government is final. If anyone tempers or destroys or erases or hacks any file of the Archive that person will be imprisoned for three years or fined Tk 20,000. If anyone takes any file from the Archive illegally, smuggles it abroad or takes it outside the Archive building with an ill intention, that person will be imprisoned for five years or fined Tk one lakh.
Arts amid pandemic: 'An effective tool to preserve history for future'
Emphasising the importance of nurturing arts and culture for crafting a better society, junior Cultural Affairs Minister KM Khalid has said both have the infinite power to travel between good and bad times and are effective tools for preserving history. “The world is passing a crucial phase due to the ongoing global pandemic, and we have been continuously observing so many emotional situations altogether on a regular basis. Through continuing the artistic journey, we certainly can preserve emotions of history so that our future generation can get to learn how the world has dealt with the crucial situations amid all hardships.” Khalid said on Tuesday. Read: National Art Exhibition's 24th edition begins Tuesday He emphasised the importance of preserving artworks from different genres and subjects as well as keeping cultural practices active, while inaugurating the 24th edition of the National Art Exhibition 2021 at its virtual inauguration ceremony. “When we first explored the havoc of this deadly pandemic, we saw many heartbreaking moments everywhere in the world. People could not bid adieu to their beloved ones who had lost their battle to Covid... parents could not touch their children and vice-versa. "Despite observing a handful of miseries like these, we have seen how our artists have utilised their divine power to capture these emotions on their canvases and showed their creativity through exhibitions like the one we are launching today. This is how art can preserve history, for which the government is providing continuous support and motivation,” Khalid said. Known as one of the most vividly celebrated art exhibitions of the country and one of the flagship artistic ventures of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) since 1975, this year’s National Art Exhibition creates history with its first-ever virtual edition, due to the pandemic. The inauguration ceremony was also joined by the newly appointed Secretary to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Md Abul Mansur, as the guest of honour, while eminent artist Abdul Mannan joined the inauguration ceremony as the special guest. Read: Registration deadline for 24th National Art Exhibition extended to May 26 BSA's Director of Fine Arts Syeda Mahbuba Karim delivered the welcome speech and the inauguration ceremony was chaired by BSA Director General Liaquat Ali Lucky. “We really wanted to have the opportunity to cater to our art enthusiasts a physical exhibition as we have done in the previous years, but we had to go virtual this year considering the safety of everyone. I request the art admirers to explore the exhibition by visiting the virtual gallery of BSA’s website and YouTube channel,” BSA’s Director of Fine Arts Syeda Mahbuba Karim said at the inauguration ceremony. The organisers informed at the event that a total of 157 paintings, 47 sculptures, 53 prints, 17 photographs, 18 installations, 10 oriental artworks, 20 crafts, seven new media works, five graphics works, and seven potteries are on display, alongside six special performance art shows. Of the over 1,000 artworks submitted by a total of 786 artists, 347 artworks of different mediums and genres by 323 artists are being showcased at this year’s exhibition. The inauguration ceremony was followed by a glimpse of the month-long virtual exhibition, after which the names of the award recipient artists were announced. Mohammad Hasanur Rahaman won the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy award worth Tk 200,000 (2 lakh) as the best artist of this year’s exhibition. Eleven departmental prizes for different genres worth Tk 100,000 (1 lakh) each were awarded to artists Imtiaj Ahmed Rasel (Installation Art), Ruhul Karim Rumee (Painting), Md Anisuzzaman (Printmaking), Kanok Kumar Pathak (Sculpture), Sushanta Kumar Adhikary (Oriental Art), Samiya Afrin (Crafts), Md Robiul Islam (Ceramic), Al Monjur Elahi (Graphic Design), Md Al Yeacha Irfan Uddin (Photography), Efat Razowana Reya (Performance Art), and Zihan Karim (New Media Art). Read:US Ambassador Miller visits art exhibition on PM at Cosmos Centre Five honourable mention awards worth Tk 25,000 were given to artists Abu Tareq Md Kadimul Islam Jadu (Painting), Kazi Sayed Ahmed (Painting), Aminul Islam Ashik (Sculpture), Alok Rajbongshi (Sculpture), and Md Rafiqul Islam (Printmaking). The rest of the five special ‘Honourable’ prizes - Bengal Foundation award, Artist Kalidas Karmakar award, Language Activist Gaziul Haque award, Shahjalal Islami Bank Foundation award and Artist Kazi Anwar Hossain award - was awarded to artist Abhijit Chowdhury (Painting), Rasel Kanti Das (Painting), Tanvir Ahmed Joy (Sculpture), Promotesh Das Pulak (Installation Art), and Kamruzzaman (Printmaking), respectively.
National Art Exhibition's 24th edition begins Tuesday
The 24th edition of the National Art Exhibition 2021, a flagship art venture by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), will begin on June 29.Due to the ongoing global pandemic, the biennale exhibition will be a virtual event this year for the first time in history, according to the academy. BSA Director General Liaquat Ali Lucky and the its Director of Fine Arts department Syeda Mahbuba Karim shared the details of the exhibition at a virtual press conference on Sunday at BSA's official Facebook page. Read: Registration deadline for 24th National Art Exhibition extended to May 26State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid will virtually inaugurate the month-long virtual exhibition on June 29 at 4 pm as the chief guest of the inaugural ceremony.Secretary to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs Badrul Arefin will join the event as the guest of honor, while eminent artist Abdul Mannan will join the inauguration ceremony as the special guest. BSA's Director of Fine Arts Syeda Mahbuba Karim will deliver the welcome speech and the inauguration ceremony will be chaired by BSA Director General Liaquat Ali Lucky. At the virtual press briefing, the organizers said that of the 1000-plus artworks submitted by a total of 786 artists, the 347 artworks of different mediums and genres by 323 artists will be displayed at the 24th edition of this exhibition. Read:US Ambassador Miller visits art exhibition on PM at Cosmos Centre A five-member selection committee consisting of artists Mamun Kayser, Mahmuda Begum, Muslim Mia, Swapan Kumar Sikder, and Faruk Ahammad Molla selected the artworks for the exhibition this year. The organizers informed that a total of 157 paintings, 47 sculptures, 53 prints, 17 photographs, 18 installations, 10 oriental artworks, 20 crafts, 7 new media works, 5 graphics works, and 7 potteries will be on display, alongside 6 special performance art shows.In addition to these presentations, a special segment consisting of four art projects, curated by four renowned artists will also be displayed in this year's exhibition. A team of 10 artists in each group who worked under the curators Kanak Chanpa Chakma, Zihan Karim, Kamruzzaman Chowdhury, and Joydeb Roaja will display their works in this segment. final selection committee as the jury board to nominate the best artworks is comprised of noted artists Farida Zaman, Abdul Mannan, Abul Barq Alvi, Mostafa Sharif Anwar, Mustafa Zaman, and Syeda Mahbuba Karim. Read:Month-long art exhibition focuses on COVID-19, its impactEleven artists will receive the best awards in eleven categories, while five honorable mention awards will be given to five artists from different categories. Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Award 2021, the top award covering all categories, will honor the best artist in the exhibition. Additionally, there are five awards sponsored by different organizations. The awardees will receive cash prize money, certificates, medals, and crests. Started as a biennale back in 1975, the exhibition has earned recognition from art-lovers as a festivity and celebration of modern artworks and crafts by artists from all over the country. Art enthusiasts can explore the 24th edition of this biennale exhibition from June 29 to July 31 at www.shilpakala.gov.bd and www.facebook.com/shilpakalapage.
Budget: Govt allocates Tk 587 crore for cultural affairs, activists unhappy
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal proposed allocating Tk 587 crore for the cultural affairs ministry on Thursday, as part of his announcement of the fiscal 2021-22 budget. The allocation is Tk 8 crore more than the elapsing budget for fiscal 2020-21. The amount is 0.098 per cent of the proposed deficit national budget of Tk 6,03,681 crore. Also read: New budget unveiled with focus on protecting lives and livelihoods However, cultural activists expressed disappointment over the total allocation, saying that the amount needs to be at least 1 percent of the total budget. "More than 500 theatre organizations under our Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation believe that more money should have been allocated to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs as we, the cultural activists, have constantly been fighting against all odds, upholding the spirit of our glorious Liberation War," Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation said in a press statement. Also read: New budget: Tracking prices going up and down "We urge the government not to push the nation backwards by demotivating the cultural sector with this allocation, rather it should increase the percentage of the total allocation in the proposed budget", they added.