Birmingham Museums Commemorating 50th Anniversary of Independence of Bangladesh

2021 marks 50 years since the independence of Bangladesh. To commemorate this significant anniversary Birmingham Museums, in partnership with the Bengal Foundation; are jointly hosting a programme that invites audiences to explore Bangladeshi history and the impact of independence.

Bangladesh 50: Commemorating Independence from 1971 to 2021 launched in Spring 2021 with online film screenings by two internationally-acclaimed female Bangladeshi artists – Dilara Begum Jolly and Rubaiyat Hossain – both focusing on women’s rights and roles since 1971. That will be followed in the summer by an outdoor and online exhibition showcasing the work of Bangladeshi artist Mustafa Zaman, presenting his photographic series Lost Memory Eternalised, that reinterprets and represents historic found images of Bangladesh.

Rebecca Bridgman, Curatorial and Exhibitions Manager, Birmingham Museums Trust said: “Birmingham has a strong link to the independence story of Bangladesh and is home to a significant Bangladeshi migrant community, including those who raised awareness of the Liberation War through protests and activism at the time”.

“With our partners, the Dhaka-based Bengal Foundation, we commemorate 50 years of Bangladesh independence. Our Bangladesh 50 programme presents an opportunity to explore the impact of the 1971 war on Bangladeshi people, in particular the activism and actions, rights and roles of women at the time and the legacy of that significant event.”

Luva Nahid Choudhury, Director General at the Bengal Foundation said: “Our collaboration with Birmingham Museums on the 50th year of Bangladesh’s independence has made it possible to present and share narratives in film and photography, which we hope will inspire and provoke new questions, prompt gestures towards alternative futures and new imaginations of agency and freedom.”

Bangladesh 50: Commemorating Independence from 1971 to 2021 invites audiences to explore elements of that history by delving into the specific layers of complexity that form Bangladesh’s current identity. More broadly, it will consider how liberation movements and art have been bound together in the forging of new cultural identities.

Bangladesh 50: Commemorating Independence from 1971 to 2021 is funded by a grant from the British Council’s Digital Collaboration Fund and hosted through British Council Arts.

Further details and dates for the exhibition will be announced later in the year.

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