‘Chobi Mela Shunno (0)’ begins from February 12
Celebrating their tenth anniversary, Chobi Mela will kick off their special edition this year from February 12. A press conference to announce the special edition, 'Chobi Mela Shunno (0)', organised keeping the ongoing pandemic in mind, was held at DrikPath Bhobon in the capital today.
Celebrated photojournalist, Drik-Pathshala trustee and Chief Advisor of Chobi Mela Shahidul Alam, Festival Director Tanzim Wahab, Curators ASM Rezaur Rahman and Sarker Protick, photographer Taslima Akhter Lima and guest curator Najmun Nahar Keya were present at the event.
Raising essential questions about its own purpose, the festival plans to reinvent itself this year by employing more digital content and multidisciplinary practices, integrating physical and virtual arrangements.
The DrikPath Bhobon was also inaugurated at the conference. "Chobi Mela has never been limited to one person or idea. It has evolved through the hands of its students and well -wishers and that is what sets this festival apart from others," Shahidul Alam expressed during his welcome speech.
A total of 8 projects with 85 artists from five South Asian countries, including Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be exhibited in this special edition. These include: Off [Limits], The Rebel with a Smile, Wishing Tree, Chobi Mela Fellowship 2021, Frozen Song, Crossroads Collectives Intervention, Baba Betar and Chapakhana Archive.
Explaining the term Shunno, festival director Tanzim Wahab talked about the importance of stopping to reflect upon the self. "Instead of the eleventh edition, we are calling it edition zero to rethink the relevance and ways of being in a global pandemic,and engaging in a self-critical dialogue."
The exhibition will unfold in DrikPath Bhobon, designed by one of Bangladesh's most acclaimed contemporary architects, Bashirul Haq.
'Chobi Mela Shunno (0)' will pay homage to him with his seminal work in its Tribute Section, which will also celebrate the life and work of the first female photographer of Bangladesh, Sayeeda Khanum. "More than hundred handpicked photographs of Syaeeda Khanum have been retrieved through rigorous research and team work. We hope to present a rare comprehensive exhibition of her work," said curator ASM Rezaur Rahman.
This edition also reflects at the relationship we have with our neighbouring countries. Giving examples of shows such as Chittagong based Cheragi Art Show or Colombo based Colomboscope, curator Sarker Protick reflected upon the exchange of artistic thoughts and spaces. "Instead of centering Dhaka, this is the first time that we have brought shows of other cities in the festival. The 'city to city' connect shall initiate dialogues and exchange of thoughts, especially during the global pandemic," he asserted.
The ten-day festival will include artists' works from various mediums, including painting, film, installation, sculpture, video, sound, podcasts and radio broadcasts, along with the Pathshala library project with the Swiss artist-researcher Mara Züst in Chapakhana Archive.
A number of female photographers and curators will be participating in this edition. At the festival, an informal conversation session has been dedicated to female journalists and freelance photographers and their workplace safety.
The authorities also announced a no harassment note on their website that commits to creating a non-discriminative and respectful environment for people from all walks of life. 'Chobi Mela Shunno (0)' will end on February 21.