‘ CONTEMPLATION – A group of 15 participants from diverse backgrounds attended a photography course conducted by internationally renowned photographer and educator, Abir Abdullah, at the Alliance Francaise de Dhaka.
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.
The exhibition will be open to all at La Galerie till Wednesday, 28 February 2024.
In this home, everything is in its place, and there is a place for everything. Everything is counted and loved, everything is put to use. Onika calls her work art ennuyeux (boring art)- she describes it as a diary of the mundane details of the quotidian. Self-defamation is a self-protective, pre-emptive move of her part, not a warning that the viewers should heed. While there are no tales of revolution, nor chronicles of political tectonic shifts, nor industrial-scale tragedy, this is not an exhibition that is boring.
Home is rich with vitality and attentiveness; it is painted with an ancient desire to survive. It is a celebration of finding home. If you have known the loneliness of not-belonging, you know this celebration has no end. In Onika’s galaxy of doorknobs, light bulbs, pens – traversed by worn house slippers and brooms – Onika is marking her space, taking oath of citizenship. This documentation has spanned years, and the meanings that Onika makes for herself translate across to us, her audience. As much as she has tried to make the writing on her canvases cryptic (writing upside down and backwards in a tiny script), she communicates loud and clear. The only thing that is unclear is if she chooses the object or the object chooses her, but one imagines it must be mutual.
The doorknob turns no matter what happened within, the coffee pot serves on bad and good days, the window opens the same way on a birthday. In the vastness between one action and the next, our bodies are voyager ships in an infinity, carrying our imaginations, spirits and visions. And Onika is wise to celebrate habit, routine, and boredom. 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, attentively.
অবাকঘূর্ণি (Strange Vortex)
Performance by Gidree Bawlee children’s team led by Sumi Rani
Duration : 20 minutes
The performance is developed from Sumi’s experience in France and her training with Laurie Cannac.
Inspired by this work, the GidreeBawlee children’s team has expanded it into a collaborative piece exploring the societal constraints on imagination and freedom.
Drawing from their own experiences and realities, the children add a unique layer to the performance.
From March 20, Alliance Française de Dhaka will kick off a week-long celebration of the French Language and the International Organisation of La Francophonie (Organisation internationale de la Francophonie) with the Francophone festival called Fête de la Francophonie.
The weeklong programmes include screenings of a wide range of films, translation competition, open door at Gulshan premise and pétanque tournament at Gulshan.
Every year the Francophone community celebrates and promotes worldwide the use of the French language as well as cultural and linguistic diversity.
The Francophonie’s mission mandates are:
- To promote the French language and cultural and linguistic diversity.
- To promote peace, democracy and human rights.
- To support education, training, higher education and research;
- To foster economic cooperation to bolster sustainable development.
À partir du 20 mars, l’Alliance française de Dhaka célébrera pendant une semaine la langue française et l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) à l’occasion de la Fête de la Francophonie.
Les programmes de la semaine comprennent des projections d’un large choix de films, un concours de traduction, une journée portes ouvertes dans le centre ville de Gulshan et ce même centre ville organise un tournoi de pétanque.
Chaque année, la communauté francophone célèbre et promeut dans le monde entier l’usage de la langue française ainsi que la diversité culturelle et linguistique.
Les missions de la Francophonie sont les suivantes :
- Promouvoir la langue française et la diversité culturelle et linguistique.
- Promouvoir la paix, la démocratie et les droits de l’homme.
- Soutenir l’éducation, la formation, l’enseignement supérieur et la recherche ;
- Favoriser la coopération économique pour soutenir le développement durable.
BEYOND THE GAZE is an exhibition followed by a six-month workshop that welcomes young photographers and lens-based artists from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
The workshop was led by:
- Soumya Sankar Bose (India)
- Ashfika Rahman (Bangladesh)
Workshop partners are:
1️⃣ Alliance Française de Dhaka (Bangladesh)
2️⃣ The Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (India)
3️⃣ Photo South Asia, an initiative of the Murthy NAYAK Foundation (India)
This workshop engages participants in discussion that explores photography as a social tool. This workshop is dedicated to exploring different narratives from individual and collaborative vantage points. Participants are challenged to create a different narrative – one that not only records but also addresses a deep understanding of possibilities, where the entire community is included as collaborators.
The exhibition will be open to all at La Galerie till Friday, 5 April 2024.
Visiting Hours: Monday to Saturday from 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm
By Laurie Cannac and a team of Bangladeshi artists
Bangladesh, a country impacted by historical events like the partition of 1947 and the war of 1971, possesses a rich thousand-year-old history that explores the connection between humans and the mystical realm. This heritage is preserved through oral traditions which reflect the present world, historical disruptions, and the fragile unity of Bengali culture.
In her immersive experience in Bangladesh, including workshops, meetings, and the Faim de loup show, Laurie Cannac encountered Bangladeshi stories and artists, deeply moved by their resilient positivity. Inspired by this, she aims to showcase their vitality, humor, and adaptability in a unique production called Invisible Stories. Drawing from the diverse oral traditions that encompass all religious communities, ghost stories, and other supernatural elements, Laurie has formed a team of three versatile actors-dancers-singers to create this multidisciplinary project.
Through a collection of traditional Bengali ghost stories, the artists will reimagine Dhaka, their city-megalopolis, by submerging it in a surreal and dreamlike world. This creative process aims to find explanations for the city’s challenges, such as its notorious traffic, by attributing them to the rural exodus of tree ghosts. The coexistence of the ancient and modern will be portrayed as walls supported by specialized ectoplasm.
Furthermore, the production will allude to historical ghosts, like ghost trains inspired by the tragic passengers of the 1947 convoys. Additionally, the exploration of personal ghosts, intertwined with Jung’s collective unconscious, will add depth to the relationships between the characters. The technical aspects of the production will emphasize the representation of the invisible through various means, including play, movement, objects, and body puppetry.
Calendar of the production and activities:
1️⃣ In October 2022, a workshop held, and a number of selected Bangladeshi artists participated after workshop at “Wolfed down” event staged at Shilpakala.
2️⃣ From June to September 2023, Laurie had invited a young puppeteer named Summi to participate in various workshops and festivals in France.
3️⃣ On March 8, 2024, Summi and her puppet group will perform at Alliance francaise.
4️⃣ In April 2024, the performances of “Wolfed down” will take place at Shilpakala, Dhaka, Bangladesh and in India.
5️⃣ Rehearsals for “Invisible Stories” will be held in May / June 2024.
6️⃣ In July 2024, Invisible Stories will be showcased at Shilpakala.
7️⃣ Following that, European Tour will be organized.