The first solo exhibition of young artist Nasrin Jahan Onika titled ‘Home’ has begun on Friday at La Galerie of Alliance Française de Dhaka, Dhanmondi in the capital. Eminent artist Monirul Islam, renowned art critic Moinuddin Khaled and Zareen Mahmud Hosein, Director of Shasha Denims Limited, attended the inauguration event as special guests. Onika has studied under legendary painter Monirul Islam and volunteered at Studio Kala Kendra. A graduate of the Department of Printmaking at University of Development Alternative, she celebrates all that is home — habit, routine, tediousness, safety, sanctuary and also confinement. Read: ‘Amar Dekha Noya Chin’: Bangabandhu’s formative journey in a travelogue-style graphic novel It is a diary of the unremarkable and ordinariness of her existence and of the spaces that she inhabits. While Onika’s perspective is self-referential, she is looking creatively and critically at the world through herself, according to AFD. The objects are hard to make out, the perspectives are skewed, and there is a strange feeling of incomplete recognition. This must be how people see when come into the world, before dimension, definition, take shape and people begin to use cache memory instead of seeing. The exhibition consists of works on paper, canvas as well as clay pots and wood. This cataloging of the everyday is graphic and lyrical, and while Onika has tried very hard to make the writing on her canvas escryptic (writing upside down and backwards in a tiny script), she comes across clear as day. In her art there is a grand desire to find home and belonging in oneself, in others, and in familiar objects. And there is also an awareness that those everyday things are also quite strange, and if you look at them long enough, they lead to unfamiliar doorways and realities. "These are conditions that grant us the peace to be. For we are not here forever, not for so long at all. And while we are here, it helps to feel at home, in our skin, in our rooms, in our world, so we can love it all, with our attention," the artist said. The exhibition will be open to all till March 12.
Speakers at a seminar on Wednesday commemorated iconic Bangla filmmaker Ritwik Kumar Ghatak, renowned for his transformative contributions to reshaping the course of Bangla cinema history. As part of the 4th Cinemaking International Film Festival (CIFF), Megh Foundation arranged the seminar at its office near the Bachelor Gate of Jahangirnagar University, marking the birth centenary of Ritwik Ghatak. Indian film director Sayak Mukherjee, CIFF jury board member and senior journalist Abdur Rahman Jahangir and CIFF jury board member and actor Shamim Saikot, among others, spoke at the seminar with CIFF founder and film director Monjurul Islam Megh in the chair. CIFF jury board member and writer Renat Sultana presented the keynote paper at the seminar moderated by Tohura Akter Tuli. Sayak Mukherjee discussed various aspects of Ritwik Kumar Ghatak's films and his contributions to transforming Bangla films. He highlighted how Ritwik Ghatak depicted the harsh realities of socio-economic struggles in films like "Titash Ekti Nadir Naam," "Ajantrik," "Nagarik," "Runaway," "Reason, Debate and a Story," showcasing the mastery of film language required to accomplish such a feat The Indian film director expressed admiration for the CIFF, stating that it has gained global recognition in Bangladesh. Abdur Rahman Jahangir praised the CIFF for representing the country internationally, saying although the festival began as an individual initiative, it is now recognised worldwide. “As a member of the jury board, I reviewed wonderful movies from different countries. But the Bangladeshi audiences are deprived of watching these movies due to censor board’s restriction,” he said. CIFF founder and film director Monjurul Islam Megh said CIFF has achieved recognition as one of Asia's premier international film festivals. “This is the fourth edition of our festival. Through impartial jury decisions, we present awards and honour films at our festival.” “We strive to promote our festival globally with integrity. Our 4th edition features 351 films from 76 countries,” he said. Despite organising such a grand event, Megh said they do not get any assistance from the government and the censorship imposed on films hinders Bangladeshi audiences from experiencing quality cinema. Since February 16th, the 4th International Film Festival has been taking place online. Jury board members have been reviewing 351 films from 76 countries to nominate the best films and directors in various categories for awards. The awards ceremony will be held in Dhaka as part of a grand event.
In an innovative blend of art and history, the graphic novel “Amar Dekha Noya China” (The New China as I Saw) vividly portrays the myriad challenges faced by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh’s founding father. Radwan Mujib Siddiq, a trustee of the Centre for Research and Information (CRI) and Bangabandhu’s grandson, shared insights into the graphic novel, revealing how it captures the relentless hurdles encountered by the Father of the Nation. During an interview for a documentary, Radwan Mujib highlighted the struggles of conveying information to the tech-savvy younger generation and how the graphic novel bridges this gap by speaking their language. He reminisced about his childhood curiosity regarding the lack of comics about his grandfather, which planted the seed for this project. As an adult, seizing the opportunity presented by working on Bangabandhu’s unfinished autobiography, he proposed creating a graphic novel to his mother and aunt, who gave their blessing. Art exhibition titled 'Life with Canvas' begins at Bishwo Shahitto Kendro Radwan Mujib emphasized that the novel depicts Bangabandhu in situations rarely imagined by the public, such as contemplating mundane concerns like passport whereabouts, travel logistics, and ill-fitting suits after losing weight in jail. This humanizing portrayal offers a fresh perspective on the national leader’s life.
Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2024 has been extended by two days beyond the scheduled time. Director general of Bangla Academy, Muhammad Nurul Huda announced this on Tuesday evening. Holidays are for the kids at Boi Mela; sales surge, and catching Sisimpur live He said, "The Book Fair has been extended by two days following the the kind consent of the prime minister." Earlier, Secretary of the Ministry of Culture Khalil Ahmad told media, "Today the prime minister has approved the extension of the fair by two days. We are informing the fair management committee about it now. They will make an announcement on the mike of the fair and the official notification will be issued tomorrow." Ekushey Boi Mela sees rising visitor numbers but mixed sales As per the declaration, the fair will be wrapped up on March 2. On the eve of Boi Mela, publishers expecting bumper month
'Contemplation', an exhibition by students of Alliance Française de Dhaka (AFD)'s photography workshop coordinated by Abir Abdullah, has opened at La Galerie, Alliance Française de Dhaka. The opening of the exhibition was held on Saturday, February 24 in the presence of Manzarehassin Murad, filmmaker; Saif Ul Haque, Principal, Saif Ul Haque Sthapati; Tushar Abdullah, Editor, Ekhon TV and Shabnam Ferdousi, filmmaker. A group of 15 participants from diverse backgrounds attended a photography course conducted by internationally renowned photographer, Abir Abdullah, at the Alliance Francaise de Dhaka. Art exhibition titled 'Life with Canvas' begins at Bishwo Shahitto Kendro Upon completing the course, they are ready to showcase their 15 photo stories (150 photos) titled 'Contemplation’- on various topics, including contemporary social issues, stories of marginalized communities, self-reflection, climate issues, and more. Each photographer has chosen a personally significant topic to them and will display their unique abilities in capturing images. ‘My Language My Pride’: Curtain falls on international group art exhibition The participant are Md Ala Uddin, Prashanta Hridoy, Asif Iqbal Swopneel, Pathanjada Sher E Zulfiker, Asif Musaddeque, Raiyan Islam (Kaiko), Iqbal Hossain, Rubel Karmaker, Jahid Apu, Saiful Islam, Jayanta Saha Joy, Suvro Paul, Kazi Tanvir Ahmed, Silvia Rovelli and Asfaque Ahmed. The exhibition will be open to all till Wednesday, February 28, every day from 3 pm to 9 pm.
The art exhibition titled "Life with Canvas" began in the capital's Bishwo Shahitto Kendro on Friday. Organised by the event management firm Black N Orange, renowned cartoonist and writer Ahsan Habib opened the exhibition at 4pm, according to a media statement.
Mahfuz Canvas, an art organisation based in Bangladesh, held a three-day international group art exhibition, titled "My Language, My Pride" at Dhanmondi's Safiuddin Shilpalay from February 19 to 21, commemorating the spirit of International Mother Language Day. The exhibition featured works by 75 Bangladeshi and 16 international artists representing various nationalities, including India, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Syria, the Philippines, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Italy, Canada, and Pakistan. Exhibition of Japanese Dolls “NINGYŌ- Art and Beauty of Japanese Dolls’’ to be held in Dhaka February 2 Professor Mohammad Eunus, artist and Chairman of the Art Bangla Foundation, inaugurated the exhibition on February 19. Md Muniruzzaman, painter and Executive Director of Gallery Chitrak, joined as the special guest, while artist and art critic Zahid Mustafa joined the event as the guest of honour. "Our mission at Mahfuz Canvas is to empower and uplift self-taught Bangladeshi artists, ensuring they receive equitable opportunities to showcase their talents on a global scale," said Mahfuzur Rahman, founder of Mahfuz Canvas. “My Food, My City” exhibition inaugurated in Dhaka "Through our online community, 'Obscure Artists,' established in 2018, we have cultivated a thriving network of 150,000 dedicated members. With Mahfuz Canvas, we aspire to further foster the growth and development of these exceptionally talented artists,” he added. Mahfuz Canvas serves as a dedicated platform for underprivileged, self-taught Bangladeshi artists, offering them a unique opportunity to garner national and international acclaim. CEMS-Global USA’s series of exhibitions kicks off Thursday Since its inception, Mahfuz Canvas has organised 15 international exhibitions in UAE, Qatar, India, US along with sponsoring over 15 art exhibitions and events. These initiatives have earned widespread recognition and admiration within the global art community, solidifying Mahfuz Canvas as a prestigious platform for artists to showcase their exceptional talents.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid together with French Ambassador to Bangladesh Marie Masdupuy on Wednesday evening opened an exhibition, titled “Learning from Old Dhaka: Exploring the Future of Living Traditions.” Alliance Francaise de Dhaka and Hamidur Rahman Cultural Centre in Zinzira, Keraniganj jointly hosted the exhibition. At the beginning, the French Ambassador paid tribute to the martyrs of the Language Movement marking the International Mother Language Day. She wholeheartedly thanked State Minister Nasrul Hamid for hosting the beautiful exhibition at Hamidur Rahman Cultural Center which she visited for the first time. Ambassador Masdupuy recalled renowned architect Marina Tabassum who designed the Cultural Centre. “This exhibition is the result of a yearlong project launched by Alliance Française of Dhaka in cooperation with architecture students coming notably from France (École de la Villette) and Bangladesh (BUET), showcasing the very rich and peculiar history of Puran Dhaka (Old Dhaka) through its architecture and the life and activity around the Buriganga,” she said. “It's here also that Farashganj is located, the old French merchants’ settlement, and also where the ancestors of the state minister established themselves three hundred years ago," the Ambassador said. She concluded by applauding the two French artists who showed them an extraordinary performance with a group of Buriganga coolies about all the industrial and handicraft landscape in Zinzira. Zinzira, nestled on the southern fringes of Dhaka by the Buriganga River, is known for its small industries that serve as the city's backbone. This exhibition not only celebrates the architectural and cultural heritage of Old Dhaka but also fosters a dialogue between the past and the present, showcasing the potential for traditional practices to inform future urban living. The two-week-long architectural exhibition will continue till March 10 at Hamidur Rahman Cultural Centre of Keraniganj. State Minister Nasrul Hamid said the topics they explored were the endangered heritage of Old Dhaka, circular economy, urban agriculture, public space allocation systems and the corporate culture of Old Dhaka. He also said their excellent work will help Bangladeshi architects understand heritage of Dhaka better and use these as reference. The exhibition is the outcome of a two-week architectural research study by a group of architecture students from the universities of ENSA, Paris la Villette; BUET, Dhaka; BVCOA, Navi Mumbai; C.A.T., Trivandrum; and Mokpo University, South Korea. They split into several working groups to investigate endangered heritage, circular economy, urban agriculture, innovation as part of traditional activities, informal sectors, public space distribution, and corporate culture in Puran Dhaka (Old Dhaka). Amid its rapid growth, Dhaka risks losing its architectural and living heritage. An intricate relationship exists between Puran Dhaka and the river Buriganga, and this field workshop will explore this relationship and highlight the various aspects of living heritage still thriving in the old labyrinths of the city. A team of 44 students and 12 mentors worked together to map and document these aspects of the old city. Organisers say the study encompasses various elements, including the evolution of Bara Katra from a residential area in Mughal times to an economic hub for the neighbourhood, albeit losing its original purpose. It explores the hierarchy of public open spaces in the Armanitola neighbourhood and delves into the traditional craft of Shankhari bangle-making by learning from Shankhari artisans. Additionally, it examines the preservation of Bangla culture in Tanti Bazar, where the sheen of gold contributes to the swift transformation of the built heritage, they say. The study also highlights the enduring literary and cultural legacy in Bangla Bazar, the presence of Gol Talab as a rare oasis in densely populated Puran Dhaka, and the changes in the mansions of Zamindars in Mongolabash. Finally, it delves into the wood-to-paper connections in the Farashganj neighbourhood, they say. The opening was followed by a performance art titled “Gaaner Kuli.” Enthusiasts can visit the exhibition from 10am to 5pm daily.
Alliance Française de Dhaka (AFD) hosted an exquisite evening of classical music featuring the renowned French pianist Maxime Zecchini and the accomplished violinist Isabelle Durin on Sunday, February 18 at its Dhanmondi premises. This unique collaboration between pianist Maxime Zecchini and violinist Isabelle Durin brought together their artistry, creating a harmonious blend that captivates audiences. The concert traversed a diverse musical landscape, offering a rich tapestry of emotions and artistic expression, according to a press release. Maxime Zecchini, a graduate of the Paris and Lyon Conservatories, holds the distinction of being the first French pianist to complete his studies at the renowned “Incontri col Maestro” Academy in Imola, Italy. He has achieved numerous accolades, including winning the Arcachon International Competition, being a laureate of the Cziffra Foundation, and being awarded the prestigious First Prize at the International Competition of Varenna – Lake Como in Italy, all through unanimous decisions. He has been invited to perform in about fifty countries: tours in Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, South Korea, Japan, South Africa, Australia, Russia, Central America. He has performed in recital or concert repertoire, which is as sensitive as it is virtuous and spectacular at the Beijing Opera, the Shanghai Opera, the Kyiv Philharmonic, the Malaysian National Symphony Orchestra, the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra and elsewhere. Maxime Zecchini is also a recipient of scholarships from the Marcel Bleustein Blanchet Foundation, the Meyer Foundation and the Société Générale Musical Patronage. He has been accredited by the Mission du Centenaire and supported by the Bru Zane Foundation of Venice. Violinist Isabelle Durin completed her studies at the Conservatoire de Versailles under the guidance of Alexandre Brussilovsky. She then obtained her diploma at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Lyon, studying with Jean Estournet and Kazimierz Olechowski. Continuing her education, she pursued chamber music at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, studying with Alain Meunier and Michel Strauss. Besides her musical education, she has also achieved a DEA in Philosophy from Sorbonne University. Her passion for symphonic music has also brought her to the Orchestre National d’Ile-de-France and the prestigious stage of Philharmonie de Paris. In addition to her many qualities as a performer, she has extended her passion as artistic director of the “Les Harmonies Estivales” festival and now at the Motte-Tilly festival. With pianist Michael Ertzschield, Isabelle Durin released the Mémoire et Cinéma CD in 2018, based on a selection of films on Jewish culture, which has enabled her to meet a wide range of audiences.
A first in Bangladesh, a book written by a group of literary enthusiast bankers, has hit the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela. This is the first book written by reading club members of a bank in Bangladesh, according to a press release. Brac Bank organises Branch Managers’ Convention 2024 Brac Bank Reading Café has published the book “Protiswor”, a diverse collection of 67 short stories, poems, essays, travelogues, and satires penned by 57 co-workers of the bank, it said. According to Brac Bank, the book is dedicated to the martyrs of the Language Movement of 1952. Published by Rochoita Publishers, the book is available at stall-590 at the Bangla Academy Book Fair and also at renowned book stores. Brac Bank leads CMSME Cluster Financing Workshop in Laxmipur to fuel growth The book has been edited by a panel of Brac Bank Reading Café members led by Ekram Kabir, Head of Communication of the bank. Illustrated and designed by Lutful Hossain, the 224-page book costs Tk 300, said the release. Expressing his enthusiasm about the book, the bank’s Managing Director and CEO Selim RF Hussain said: “I am elated to share that our colleagues have put their efforts together to publish a book. This feat has made the entire BRAC Bank Family immensely proud." “At BRAC Bank, we create an environment where our colleagues can nurture creativity at a professional level and in personal space,” he added. Brac Bank secures Bancassurance business approval The book's publishing epitomises the passion, hard work and enthusiasm of a group of bibliophiles at BRAC Bank who worked day and night to make this a reality, the release said said. The bank’s reading circle was formed by a group of book enthusiasts who are passionate about literature and encourage collaboration and critical thinking among their coworkers. Each month, the Reading Cafe members read one book and come together to discuss various aspects of it. The Reading Café is a testament to the institution's dedication to nurturing a holistic and intellectually stimulating work environment, it said. By bridging the gap between the financial industry and the literary world, BRAC Bank aims to inspire a more enlightened, thoughtful, and well-rounded community of professionals. The creation of this book club aligns with Brac Bank's commitment to fostering personal and professional growth and improving work culture.