Samdani Art Foundation
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CHARCHA SESSIONS

1 DECEMBER 2018 - 7 DECEMBER, THAKURGAON, INDIA

The Samdani Art Foundation was delighted to partner with Samdani Artist Led Initiatives forum member Gidree Bawlee on their inaugural Charcha Sessions festival in rural Balla, Thakurgan, Bangladesh from December 1-7, 2018 as part of our annual grant program. The four artists in residence for in this inaugural session were Kamruzzaman Shadhin, Yasmin Jahan Nupur, Khandakar Nasir Ahmed and Anisuzzaman, Rubel. Learn more about this program from the text below by Salma Jamal Moushum.

The ‘Charcha Sessions’ came into being to facilitate continuing collaborations between visiting artists and the artists/artisans from the village to catalyze a long-term impact on both of their practices. As an organization Gidree Bawlee's aim is to create a balance of influence in the artistic processes of the visiting artists and the community art/craft practitioners. In the future, this project will be held several times of the year to support continuous projects that will be developed by the artists, and also to encourage new experimentation in regards to community engagement. We believe these frequent sessions will help both the visiting artists and the community art practitioners to find an equal ground in their collaborative practice. The sessions will bring interested artists in short-term (or long-term) residencies, or sometimes bring together only the community practitioners working with various materials to experiment and collaborate with each other.

Yasmin Jahan Nupur, Shushila Rani and Somari Rani

Yasmin Jahan Nupur has been researching the traditional practices of weaving in Bangladesh for several years. In this session she continued her research and practiced with her co-artists Shushila Rani and Somari Rani. Exploring the relationship of women's body to the waist loom while weaving, the artists experimented and attempted to push the boundaries of traditional jute weaving with backstrap looms. This is an ongoing project with learning and experimentation continuing past the residency.

Kamruzzaman Shadhin and Prodip Roy

Kamruzzaman Shadhin's interest in the traditional crafts of the region and their underlying history and relationship with communities has been a major part of his artistic research and journey. Shadhin and Prodip Roy have been working together for the last several years experimenting with various methods and techniques of bamboo craft. In this session, the artists worked together to transfer the brush strokes from an action painting by Shadhin into a bamboo canvas using traditional bamboo bending methods that Prodip specializes in. The bamboo platform was installed as part of the ceiling of a room of the residency. This is an on-going, process-driven collaborative experiment which will continue in the years to come.

Nasir Ahammed, Shariful Islam and Shubesh Barman

In his previous visit, Nasir Ahammed in collaboration with bamboo craftsmen from the community, experimented with bamboo twigs creating a large installation in collaboration with the bamboo craftsmen of the village. This time Nasir and his co-artists Shariful Islam and Shubesh Barman used dry branches and twigs and straw which were abundant due to the harvest season and created a dome-like structure which was installed in various spaces around the community. The experimentation will continue as the artists plan on more future explorations with bamboo twigs.

Anisuzzaman Rubel, Chandra Kumar and community children

Rubel, a recent graduate from the department of sculpture at Dhaka University, collaborated with Chandra Kumar, a clay artisan specialized in idol making. Combining both of their creativity and technique they experimented with clay, straw and bamboo which to create a shade providing sculpture beside a pond. The artists have plans to expand their experiment further in the next visits.