সংহতির সময়ালাপ a close look at art that inspired action

3 August – 3 September 2022
The exhibition is open everyday from 4 PM to 8 PM, except Tuesdays

Bengal Shilpalay Level 1
House 42, Road 27, Sheikh Kamal Sarani, Dhanmondi, Dhaka

Bengal Arts Programme is pleased to announce the launch of an exhibition of works by a group of artists whose creative journey was forged in the formative decades of the 1950s and 60s, and going forward, whose leanings shaped our political and cultural backdrop.After the Partition of 1947, when the lot of East Bengal—now Bangladesh—was clubbed with Pakistan, people saw with increasing disappointment and frustration that the same colonial mark left by the British was being upheld by the Pakistani administration. They considered East Bengal nothing more than a colony, and continued to plunder its resources, silence dissent and take away fundamental rights, including the right of free expression. It did not take long for protests to emerge. The 1952 language movement in support of establishing Bangla, the language spoken by the majority, as one of the two state languages, inaugurated the two-decade long struggle for self-governance which eventually led to the War of Liberation in 1971.
An important aspect of the struggle was that, along with politicians, who led it from the front, it was joined by just about everyone—students, workers, peasants, academics and artists. The art of the two decades reflects a growing sense of nationalism, a going back to the roots, a celebration of our essential cultural identity, and an increasing realisation that the home and the world are connected in more ways than we could imagine. There was thus also a move to take up the best practices of the west, experiment with form and space, test local and vernacular idioms, and create a language of art that would address all aspects of this connection. Artists also made use of a wide range of mediums and formal innovations.
It is important to realise that the lessons we learnt from the two decades have never been lost—they guide us in moments of crisis. In the 1980s, artists joined politicians and other cultural activists in the struggle to overthrow an authoritarian regime. Even today, artists join protest movements of all descriptions and art continues to inspire our social, political and cultural action.
The works in the exhibition are drawn from Bengal Foundation and Abul Khair’s private collections. The list is not exhaustive as there are many others who, through their artistic practice and participation, have shaped our political conscience.

Entry is free and open for all. No bags. Maximum 15 (ten) visitors. Please wear a mask and maintain 3 feet distance. No food or drinks allowed inside. No professional cameras. No flash photography. Please cooperate with security personnel. To know more call 018 4405 0505 or write to info@bengalarts.org.

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