Samdani Art Foundation
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 13 April 2017  |  Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy



The Samdani Artist-Led Initiatives Forum is a new program committed to supporting the work of Bangladesh’s independently established and self-funded art collectives and initiatives. Eleven groups vital to the growth of Bangladesh's creative communities will participate in this new Forum, led by Diana Campbell Betancourt, Artistic Director of the Samdani Art Foundation, and assisted by Ruxmini Reckvana Q Choudhury, Assistant Curator at the Foundation. 

On the 13th of April 2017, the Samdani Art Foundation was delighted to launch the inaugural Samdani Artist-Led Initiatives Forum meeting. Each of the eleven Artist-Led Initiatives we have partnered with presented their ongoing work to Kathryn Weir, Director of the Department of Cultural Development, Centre Pompidou, Paris, in front of an audience at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. These include Akāliko, BACK Art, Charupith, Daagi Art Garage, Gidree Bawlee Foundation of Arts, Hill Artists’ Group, Jog Art Space, Jothashilpa, 'Shako' - Women Artist Association of Bangladesh, Shoni Mongol Adda, and Uronto Artist Community.  

The meeting provided an opportunity for Forum members to learn more about each initiative’s unique practices and principles. It closed with an open discussion which will collectively steer the Forum’s future, analysing how SAF’s programming can best benefit each initiative.  For the next three years, each of the participating initiatives will remain members of the Forum and receive support from SAF until the 2020 Dhaka Art Summit.   

The work each of these initiatives undertakes to provide Bangladesh’s next generation of artists with opportunities is undisputed, yet many have limited resources, which reduces their marketing capacity and prevents them from connecting with a global audience. SAF is committed to supporting the work of Bangladesh’s contemporary artists, in part by increasing their international exposure. The Forum will support these initiatives’ ongoing efforts by helping each to continue to work locally, while building their profile internationally through SAF’s network and collaborators.