Alliance Française de Dhaka

Learning from Puran Dhaka (February, 2023)

Learning from Puran Dhaka (February, 2023)

“Learning from Puran Dhaka: The Urbanity of Occupations Along the Buriganga Riverfront” is the third chapter of EUNIC’s heritage initiative “River Heritage”. 


In this project, living exhibition and an open workshop by a group of architecture students and faculties from Mumbai, Trivandrum, Paris, and Dhaka: Claudio Secci, architect and coordinator of the workshop (France), and Kamalika Bose, architecture consultant and coordinator of the workshop (India) gathered 49 students from Mumbai, Trivandrum, Paris, and Dhaka from 4th to 18th February in old Dhaka, the core of the river heritage project. The team immersed themselves in the alleys and Ghats of Puran Dhaka and explored the endangered tangible and intangible heritage. After the workshop, the drawings, maps, plans, observations, pictures, and part of the testimonies of local inhabitants were presented before the audience at La Galerie, Alliance Française de Dhaka.


Afterward, Alliance Francaise de Dhaka where young photographers (Pathshala Institute), performers (Ramona and Gale), and musician Rahul Ananda (Joler Gaan) entertained the local audience of Puran Dhaka through their respective media of art as a gesture to give back to the community for the knowledge they provided.


During the research work, the students from L’École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Paris-La Villette (ENSAPLV) participated in the workshop and later published their memories upon returning to their institutes.


Please find the reports from below links:

  1. 1. La revitalisation des cours d’eau en ville; Florian Fillau
  2. 2. Rapport d’accompagnement du projet de fin d’études – Devenir du marché aux épices autours d’une maison flamboyante
  3. 3. Livret d’accompagnement PFE 2023; Léa Destombes
  4. 4. Rapport d’accompagnement; Florian FILLAUT

Workshop activities

Cultural activities engaging community

An overview of Learning from form Puran Dhaka.

8 video portraits of men and women working in 8 ghats (neighborhoods overlooking the Burighangha River) in Old Dhaka are projected on a bag carried on the head in the narrow and crowded streets of the Bangladeshi capital in the manner of coolies (local porters). 8 fields of activity, specific gestures, particular environments and objects manipulated by expert hands. Through the intensity of their looks and the work they do, the portraits invite the public to look at them, to follow them in procession.

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