Chobi Mela VII: Fragility
Festival opening: 25 January, 2013, venue to be announced shortly
Exhibition Venues: Alliance Française de Dhaka, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Bengal Gallery, Chobir Haat, Dhaka Art Center, Drik Gallery, Lichutola-Dhaka University,.
Festival duration: 2 weeks (25 January-7 February 2013)
Evening presentations: 1 week (25 January – 1 February 2013), venue Goethe-Institut
The festival will feature:
34 Solo Print Exhibitions
Presentations by Picture Libraries/Agencies
Review of image-related publications/Book launches
Lifetime Achievement award
Participating countries: 24
2.1 Selected Artists for Chobi Mela VII
Name of Artist & Country
Anastasia Taylor-Lind - Sweden/UK
B.S. Shivaraju (Cop Shiva) - India
Eiffel Chong - Malaysia
Eivind H. Natvig - Norway
Eugene Richards - USA
Gaël Turine - Belgium
Gideon Mendel - UK
Graciela Iturbide - Mexico
Hossein Fatemi - Iran
Ilaria Di Biagio - Italy
J. D. Okhai Ojeikere - Nigeria
Laura El-Tantawy - Egypt/UK
Leandro Viana de Paula - Brazil
Lu Guang - China
Maika Elan - Vietnam
Maimouna Guerresi - Italy
Mateusz Sarello - Poland
Max Pam - Australia
Mohammad Anisul Hoque - Bangladesh
Muge - China
Pablo Bartholomew - India
Rafiqul Shuvo - Bangladesh
Rasel Chowdhury - Bangladesh
Richard Bartholomew - India
Saiful Huq Omi - Bangladesh
Samsul Alam Helal - Bangladesh
Sandra Vitaljić - Croatia
Saori Ninomiya - Japan
Sarker Protick - Bangladesh
Shumon Ahmed - Bangladesh
Walter Astrada - Spain
Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh and Rozenn Quéré - France and Lebanon
Zhang Hai - China
Ziyah Gafić - Bosnia
Workshops @ Chobi Mela VII
Chris Rainier and Chris Riley
Deepak John Mathew
Artist’s Talks @ Chobi Mela VII
Nasir Ali Mamun
Slide Show Presenters @ Chobi Mela VII
Jody Haines on Australian photography
Nii Obodai and Bisi Silva on African photography
Françoise Callier on South East Asian photography
Munem Wasif on Bangladeshi photography
Hester Keijser on Middle Eastern photography
Discussion Session participants
Nayantara Gurung Kakshapati
Chris Rainier and Chris Riley
Partners: Alliance Française de Dhaka, American Center, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Bengal Gallery, Drik, Dhaka Art Center, Goethe-Institut and Pathshala.
The Theme: Fragility
The sweeping gestures of photography have thrived on extremes. Great things, epic moments, the wretched, the vile, the dispossessed, the celebrated and the trodden, have all found themselves facing the lens. Photography has exalted suffering, celebrated the vain. Quiet moments, reflective spirits, the hesitant step, the furtive glance have rarely made headlines. Perceived as being unworthy of the shutter.
The shutter speed of 125th of a second reserved for momentous slices of time, never slows down enough to listen to the size of the silent. Photography therefore is a selective witness. The history it records, a filtered history. It is a filtration different from the dominant narrative of the victor that history has been guilty of. This is more insidious, as it seeps into the very core of our consciousness. I smile for my grandma’s camera. The photojournalist waits for my tear to drop. The moments in between go unrecorded. A staccato history of grand gestures and seminal moments fails to record the nuanced lives we all live.
The medium has been digital all along. The black and whites of photography has largely failed to register the grey ambiguities of the human panorama, the binary perceptions that shape photographic vision failing to respond to subtlety. The everydayness of our lives with its tapestry of emotions, too plain to register amongst the dramatic peaks and troughs that photography has been measured by.
It is only through fissure that fragility has registered. It is only on being trampled that the delicate has been lamented. The staunch pillars of photography have rarely let light through the cracks. The frailty of a lost thought, the uncertainty of the first touch is the insignificance that a camera passes by. The fragility of a tortured earth, the slow death of a glacier, the disappearance of the honeybee, too slow a change to register in 125th of a second.
In a gendered world fragility is not macho enough. In a misogynist industry, to pause is to be effeminate. Where sex and violence are the opiates we are fed on, quieter moments do not even make the ‘B roll’. A sob too insignificant to register on a megapixel sensor.
We look for those fleeting moments. A gossamer of gentle thoughts billowing in turbulent winds. An unravelling strand of humanity bending against the onslaught of invasive culture. The frail existence of a marginal farmer eking out a living in the shadows of engineered genes. Communities holding out against the rising tide of modernity. Lost languages, vanishing cultures, disappearing forests, all entwined by a vulnerability, familiar to those who resist market forces.
In an economy gasping for breath, in an ecosystem reeling under consumption, waste and the ravages of war, the greed of a few threatens the future of many. We challenge you to push back the tide of unbridled growth and lay your stake to a sustainable universe. It is only by embracing the fragility of this world that you will make it your own.