Friday, January 18, 2019 CULTURE

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10th Chobi Mela begins in February

The theme of the biannual festival will be ‘Place’

Cultural Correspondent

The 10th edition of Chobi Mela, Asia’s renowned photography festival, will raise its curtain on February 28 at Drik Gallery in Dhaka.

Chobi Mela X will continue at Drik’s new gallery in Panthapath till March 9. 

At a press conference on Tuesday, festival director Shahidul Alam presented the theme of the upcoming festival and introduced the newly formed ChobiMela advisory board members.  

The international festival of photography is put together biannually by Drik Picture Library Ltd and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute.

Prominent members of the new advisory board include Indian economist and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen,former deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank Khondokar Ibrahim Khaled, human rights activist KhushiKabir, Nepali publisher, writer and editor Kunda Dixit, Indian photographer Raghu Rai, economist Rehman Sobhan, literary critic, activist and historian Serajul Islam Choudhury, and human rights activist and former advisor to the caretaker government Sultana Kamal.

‘Place’ will be the theme ofChobiMela X. Worksbasedon the theme would be curated by ASM Rezaur Rahman, Munem Wasif, Sarker Protick and Tanzim Wahab, along with guest curators Naeem Mohaiemen and Sabih Ahmed.

Chobi Mela X will also feature 27 exhibitions of site-specific artworks by young Bangladeshi artists,and 35 others from 20 countries.

Exposure to the theme-based artist’s talk, panel discussion,curated slideshow and workshops will all be accessible at the festival.

Galleries at Dhanmondi will be the soul of the festival. The under-construction Drik-Pathshala building at Panthapath will be the main venue, while exhibitions will also be held at the Alliance Francaise de Dhaka, Drik Gallery 1 & 2 (Dhanmondi) and Drik Gallery 3 (Panthapath).

Workshops will be conducted by photo practitioners from all over the world. Peter Bialobrzeski, noted for his excellent photography teaching background, will hold a workshop. Valentina Abenavoli will provide hands-on training to a group of photographers on making their own photo books. World-renowned German publisher and bookmaker Gerhard Steidl will also give an artist’s talk on photo books.

Rickshaw vans will be the trademark of easy access to exhibition information for the general public. A mobile exhibition will also work as a medium of information to reach remote places of the capital. 

The festival is free and open to the public.

Comment

The theme of the biannual festival will be ‘Place’

Cultural Correspondent

The 10th edition of Chobi Mela, Asia’s renowned photography festival, will raise its curtain on February 28 at Drik Gallery in Dhaka.

Chobi Mela X will continue at Drik’s new gallery in Panthapath till March 9. 

At a press conference on Tuesday, festival director Shahidul Alam presented the theme of the upcoming festival and introduced the newly formed ChobiMela advisory board members.  

The international festival of photography is put together biannually by Drik Picture Library Ltd and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute.

Prominent members of the new advisory board include Indian economist and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen,former deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank Khondokar Ibrahim Khaled, human rights activist KhushiKabir, Nepali publisher, writer and editor Kunda Dixit, Indian photographer Raghu Rai, economist Rehman Sobhan, literary critic, activist and historian Serajul Islam Choudhury, and human rights activist and former advisor to the caretaker government Sultana Kamal.

‘Place’ will be the theme ofChobiMela X. Worksbasedon the theme would be curated by ASM Rezaur Rahman, Munem Wasif, Sarker Protick and Tanzim Wahab, along with guest curators Naeem Mohaiemen and Sabih Ahmed.

Chobi Mela X will also feature 27 exhibitions of site-specific artworks by young Bangladeshi artists,and 35 others from 20 countries.

Exposure to the theme-based artist’s talk, panel discussion,curated slideshow and workshops will all be accessible at the festival.

Galleries at Dhanmondi will be the soul of the festival. The under-construction Drik-Pathshala building at Panthapath will be the main venue, while exhibitions will also be held at the Alliance Francaise de Dhaka, Drik Gallery 1 & 2 (Dhanmondi) and Drik Gallery 3 (Panthapath).

Workshops will be conducted by photo practitioners from all over the world. Peter Bialobrzeski, noted for his excellent photography teaching background, will hold a workshop. Valentina Abenavoli will provide hands-on training to a group of photographers on making their own photo books. World-renowned German publisher and bookmaker Gerhard Steidl will also give an artist’s talk on photo books.

Rickshaw vans will be the trademark of easy access to exhibition information for the general public. A mobile exhibition will also work as a medium of information to reach remote places of the capital. 

The festival is free and open to the public.


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‘Roma’ becomes first foreign film to win critics’ choice award

Cultural Correspondent
 
The Mexican film ‘Roma’ triumphs again, making history as the first foreign film to take ‘Best Picture” at Sunday’s 24 Annual Critics’ Choice Awards.
In addition to the prestigious award, the film was recognized for best cinematography and best foreign film.
Inspired the Director Alfonso Cuaron’s childhood in 1970’s Mexico City, the film picked-up two Golden Globes last week and is rumored to be in line for an Oscar at February’s Academy Awards.
In “Roma,” Cuaron uses the big screen to highlight class struggles and racism through the story of an indigenous cleaning woman to portray the dichotomy between her less-than-privileged past, and her newly-acquired, quasi-wealthy surroundings.
On accepting the trophy, Cuaron, a two-time award winner, made reference to U.S. President Donald Trump’s staunch anti-immigration policies, saying, “This bunch of Mexicans are not as bad as sometimes they are portrayed.”
The talented mind behind Children of Men (2006) and the Oscar winner, Gravity (2013), Cuaron told reporters, “Cinema is at its best when it tears down walls and builds bridges to another culture ... These new shapes and faces enable us to realize, that, yes, while strange, not unfamiliar. We begin to understand exactly how much we have in common.”
He added that ninety percent of the scenes were taken from his memory.
Actors Christian Bale (Vice), Glenn Close (The Wife), and Singer Lady Gaga (A Star is Born) were each awarded Best Actor, Best Actress. Best Supporting Roles were presented to Mahershala Ali for his performance in Green Book; while Regina King received Best Supporting Actress for her role in If Beale Street Could Talk.

Comment

Cultural Correspondent
 
The Mexican film ‘Roma’ triumphs again, making history as the first foreign film to take ‘Best Picture” at Sunday’s 24 Annual Critics’ Choice Awards.
In addition to the prestigious award, the film was recognized for best cinematography and best foreign film.
Inspired the Director Alfonso Cuaron’s childhood in 1970’s Mexico City, the film picked-up two Golden Globes last week and is rumored to be in line for an Oscar at February’s Academy Awards.
In “Roma,” Cuaron uses the big screen to highlight class struggles and racism through the story of an indigenous cleaning woman to portray the dichotomy between her less-than-privileged past, and her newly-acquired, quasi-wealthy surroundings.
On accepting the trophy, Cuaron, a two-time award winner, made reference to U.S. President Donald Trump’s staunch anti-immigration policies, saying, “This bunch of Mexicans are not as bad as sometimes they are portrayed.”
The talented mind behind Children of Men (2006) and the Oscar winner, Gravity (2013), Cuaron told reporters, “Cinema is at its best when it tears down walls and builds bridges to another culture ... These new shapes and faces enable us to realize, that, yes, while strange, not unfamiliar. We begin to understand exactly how much we have in common.”
He added that ninety percent of the scenes were taken from his memory.
Actors Christian Bale (Vice), Glenn Close (The Wife), and Singer Lady Gaga (A Star is Born) were each awarded Best Actor, Best Actress. Best Supporting Roles were presented to Mahershala Ali for his performance in Green Book; while Regina King received Best Supporting Actress for her role in If Beale Street Could Talk.

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Goethe Institut arranges film show on Sunday

Cultural Correspondent
 
Goethe-Institut Bangladesh, in cooperation with the International Film Initiative of Bangladesh (IFIB), organizes a new film screening and discussion series “Through Her Eyes - A space to watch and discuss films with women filmmakers of Bangladesh” on every third Sunday of a month from 5 pm at its auditorium.
As part of this new initiative, Goethe-Institut invites you on Sunday, 20 January 2019 at 5 pm to enjoy the film titled “Under Construction” directed by Rubaiyat Hossain followed by a Q&A session at Goethe-Institut Bangladesh auditorium, according to a press release. 
 
Film synopsis
In the constantly changing city of Dhaka, Roya, an actress in her early thirties, has to face her first challenge. It has been years since she started playing the same part repeatedly, working for a stage director who now thinks she’s getting too old in spite of her young age. She enters a deep introspection about her life, her art, her own desires, and her place in a patriarchal society. Rubaiyat Hossain’s film provides the portrait of a woman, whose life is still under construction.
 
About the initiative: “Through Her Eyes”
Women have been making films from the beginning of film production history. In Bangladesh, we currently see a number of women filmmakers actively creating and working in all genres of filmmaking. However, it still remains a challenge for a woman to be a director and continue to create a body of work. Worldwide, relatively few women can carve out that opportunity for themselves.
‘Through Her Eyes’ gives film enthusiasts, film students, academics, film professionals, funding agencies, broadcasters, rights groups and journalists a regular opportunity to watch films by women filmmakers currently working in Bangladesh and to interact with them directly at the end of the screening.

Comment

Cultural Correspondent
 
Goethe-Institut Bangladesh, in cooperation with the International Film Initiative of Bangladesh (IFIB), organizes a new film screening and discussion series “Through Her Eyes - A space to watch and discuss films with women filmmakers of Bangladesh” on every third Sunday of a month from 5 pm at its auditorium.
As part of this new initiative, Goethe-Institut invites you on Sunday, 20 January 2019 at 5 pm to enjoy the film titled “Under Construction” directed by Rubaiyat Hossain followed by a Q&A session at Goethe-Institut Bangladesh auditorium, according to a press release. 
 
Film synopsis
In the constantly changing city of Dhaka, Roya, an actress in her early thirties, has to face her first challenge. It has been years since she started playing the same part repeatedly, working for a stage director who now thinks she’s getting too old in spite of her young age. She enters a deep introspection about her life, her art, her own desires, and her place in a patriarchal society. Rubaiyat Hossain’s film provides the portrait of a woman, whose life is still under construction.
 
About the initiative: “Through Her Eyes”
Women have been making films from the beginning of film production history. In Bangladesh, we currently see a number of women filmmakers actively creating and working in all genres of filmmaking. However, it still remains a challenge for a woman to be a director and continue to create a body of work. Worldwide, relatively few women can carve out that opportunity for themselves.
‘Through Her Eyes’ gives film enthusiasts, film students, academics, film professionals, funding agencies, broadcasters, rights groups and journalists a regular opportunity to watch films by women filmmakers currently working in Bangladesh and to interact with them directly at the end of the screening.

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Nigerian poet wins Nobel
Cultural Correspondent
 
Nigerian poet and professor, Tanure Ojaide, and Ugandan poet and journalist, Harriet Anena, won the prize from a list of 110 submissions, from 11 African countries.
Anena won on her “A Nation in Labour” poem, while Ojaide was selected for his “Songs of Myself.”
Anena is the first Ugandan to win the prestigious prize.
Her Nation in Labour’s social commentary and perspective stands out, “a collection of social conscience poetry” which takes on “the giant politician, the restless citizen, the clueless youth, those struggling to heal from life’s scratches and the ones hunting for words to describe the fiery flames of affection,” according to Anena’s publisher.
Anena is from Gulu, in northern Uganda. The poet and journalist worked for the Daily Monitor newspaper where she was a reporter and deputy chief sub-editor. She has also taught specialized writing the Islamic University in Uganda.
Wole Soyinka, the man who handed the prizes, is a renowned novelist and play writer and the recipient of the Nobel Prize in literature (1986).
The prize, awarded every two years, was created by the Lumina Foundation, in 2005.
The prize sponsored by Lumina promotes Africa’s talented writers by generating visibility for their work. One way it achieves this is by making their books available at an affordable subsidized priced.
According to UNESCO, literacy rates in Africa are still behind much of the rest of the world, as 38 percent (38 million people) of adults in the continent remain illiterate, and this is much worst among women, as they comprise two-thirds of the group.

Comment

Cultural Correspondent
 
Nigerian poet and professor, Tanure Ojaide, and Ugandan poet and journalist, Harriet Anena, won the prize from a list of 110 submissions, from 11 African countries.
Anena won on her “A Nation in Labour” poem, while Ojaide was selected for his “Songs of Myself.”
Anena is the first Ugandan to win the prestigious prize.
Her Nation in Labour’s social commentary and perspective stands out, “a collection of social conscience poetry” which takes on “the giant politician, the restless citizen, the clueless youth, those struggling to heal from life’s scratches and the ones hunting for words to describe the fiery flames of affection,” according to Anena’s publisher.
Anena is from Gulu, in northern Uganda. The poet and journalist worked for the Daily Monitor newspaper where she was a reporter and deputy chief sub-editor. She has also taught specialized writing the Islamic University in Uganda.
Wole Soyinka, the man who handed the prizes, is a renowned novelist and play writer and the recipient of the Nobel Prize in literature (1986).
The prize, awarded every two years, was created by the Lumina Foundation, in 2005.
The prize sponsored by Lumina promotes Africa’s talented writers by generating visibility for their work. One way it achieves this is by making their books available at an affordable subsidized priced.
According to UNESCO, literacy rates in Africa are still behind much of the rest of the world, as 38 percent (38 million people) of adults in the continent remain illiterate, and this is much worst among women, as they comprise two-thirds of the group.

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Senegal: Museum exhibition celebrates African culture, history

Cultural Correspondent
 
The Museum of Black Civilization is drawing crowds to Dakar, Senegal as hundreds of artifacts return home for a long awaited exhibition.
Nearly 50 years in the making, the four-story museum is displaying centuries of African culture and art stolen during the colonial era.
“It’s so overwhelming, I don’t really understand it. Some of it’s familiar, some of it’s not, but it definitely grabs you by the gut,” museum visitor, Soucoumb Diallo, told Al Jazeera.
A 148,000 square-foot space of African pride filled with intricately carved masks, pottery, glasswork, carvings surrounded by colorful paintings from regional and Caribbean artists recall the continent’s place as the “cradle of humanity.”
“Keeping our cultures is what has saved African people from attempts made at making of them soulless people without a history. And if culture does link people together, it also stimulates progress,” said President Macky Sall who attended the Museum’s opening ceremony earlier this month.
Although Senegal’s first post-independence president, Leopold Sedar Senghor, first conceived of a museum honoring black civilization almost half a century ago, its long-delayed completion thanks to an investment of US$34m (£27m) from China comes at a critical moment for African art.
African governments are stepping up pressure on Western museums to return stolen artefacts following a French government report that urged mass restitutions of objects in France’s national museums that were seized during the colonial era.
Hundreds of thousands of artefacts - believed to represent some 90 percent of Africa’s cultural heritage - now populate exhibitions in European museums and private collections.
Besides Senegal, Nigeria and Benin are also opening new museums meant to serve in part as rejoinders to arguments by European museum directors that Africa lacks the facilities to care for the works.
“The Museum of Black Civilizations is part of a generation of museums that Africa is in the process of building ... so that the continent and its diaspora ... don’t cease defining their history,” said Ernesto Ramirez, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture, at the ceremony in Dakar.

Comment

Cultural Correspondent
 
The Museum of Black Civilization is drawing crowds to Dakar, Senegal as hundreds of artifacts return home for a long awaited exhibition.
Nearly 50 years in the making, the four-story museum is displaying centuries of African culture and art stolen during the colonial era.
“It’s so overwhelming, I don’t really understand it. Some of it’s familiar, some of it’s not, but it definitely grabs you by the gut,” museum visitor, Soucoumb Diallo, told Al Jazeera.
A 148,000 square-foot space of African pride filled with intricately carved masks, pottery, glasswork, carvings surrounded by colorful paintings from regional and Caribbean artists recall the continent’s place as the “cradle of humanity.”
“Keeping our cultures is what has saved African people from attempts made at making of them soulless people without a history. And if culture does link people together, it also stimulates progress,” said President Macky Sall who attended the Museum’s opening ceremony earlier this month.
Although Senegal’s first post-independence president, Leopold Sedar Senghor, first conceived of a museum honoring black civilization almost half a century ago, its long-delayed completion thanks to an investment of US$34m (£27m) from China comes at a critical moment for African art.
African governments are stepping up pressure on Western museums to return stolen artefacts following a French government report that urged mass restitutions of objects in France’s national museums that were seized during the colonial era.
Hundreds of thousands of artefacts - believed to represent some 90 percent of Africa’s cultural heritage - now populate exhibitions in European museums and private collections.
Besides Senegal, Nigeria and Benin are also opening new museums meant to serve in part as rejoinders to arguments by European museum directors that Africa lacks the facilities to care for the works.
“The Museum of Black Civilizations is part of a generation of museums that Africa is in the process of building ... so that the continent and its diaspora ... don’t cease defining their history,” said Ernesto Ramirez, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture, at the ceremony in Dakar.

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