Young Bangladeshi artists commemorated the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi through a four-day art camp titled “Gandhi@150 Art Camp” that formally ends on Sunday.
Fifteen young artists from Bangladesh participated in the art camp from December 12 to 15 at Sreemangal, Sylhet organised by Indian High Commission in Dhaka.
The artworks produced in the Gandhi@150 Art Camp would be exhibited at Shilpakala Academy in early January.
Rokeya Sultana, a renowned artist and professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University was the mentor of the camp, said the Indian High Commission on Saturday.
Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Riva Ganguly Das inaugurated the art camp at the High Commission here on December 11.
Deputy High Commissioner Bishwadip Dey visited the art camp on Saturday and interacted with the artists.
"I’m pleased to see the enthusiastic participation by the young artists in the camp. Their works are indeed reflective of their understanding of the Gandhian way of thought,” said Riva Ganguly.
The High Commissioner said Gandhi's principles are timeless and she is encouraged to see that it has found resonance in the minds of these young participating artists.
The government of India has been commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi across the country and in Indian Missions abroad.
The Gandhi@150 art camp is part of the High Commission of India's commemoration of this significant year.
Earlier, the High Commission had organised a vegetarian food festival, tree plantation and a cycling event.
Schoolchildren from over 50 schools participated in a quiz on Mahatma Gandhi as well.
A high-level event celebrating the Mahatma was held at the UN Headquarters on September 24 which was graced by the presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The artists, working on themes based on Gandhian philosophy brought out artwork in the nature of sculpture, paintings and batik work.
Rokeya Sultana said today's youths are Bangladesh's future, and she firmly believes that the art camp will guide them.
“This generation will understand Gandhi's ideology and the aim of building a compassionate world. They’ll become better citizens of the world and engage themselves in maintaining peace,” she said.
"I’ve tried to depict on canvas, Mahatma Gandhi's lifelong work for peace. He showed us the path of peace and proved with his life that one can achieve one's goal without resorting to violence,” said Tahia Hossain, a participating artist.
Another artist, Rahul Rahat, said Gandhi dedicated his life for the greater purpose of searching for the truth. “I’ve tried to present through my work his pursuit of the truth and how he made the cotton yarn the medium through which India fought for freedom and self-reliance."
Md Ashraful Alam, also a participating artist, said Satya in Satyagraha means truth. “Therefore, Satyagraha is the force borne out of truth, love and non-violence. It’s this understanding of Satyagraha that I’m trying to depict through my work.”
The Music Department of Dhaka University (DU) is going to arrange a two-day music festival on December 17-18 with the theme ‘Bangla Gaan’ (Bangla Songs), aiming to keep cultural activities alive and thriving in the country.
Organisers said the ‘Music Festival 2019’ will be part of the 25th anniversary celebrations of the department that started its journey in 1994.
On December 17, a colourful procession will be brought out at 10am from Arts Faculty building. Teachers of the department, its present and former students, and staff will join the procession.
DU Vice Chancellor Prof M Akhtaruzzaman will inaugurate the festival at 11am at Teachers Student Centre (TSC) while Professor Emeritus Dr Rafiqul Islam and DU Pro-VC Dr Nasreen Ahmed among others will be present as special guests.
The Silver Jubilee will be celebrated by cutting a cake, to be followed by a gathering of former and present students, and musical performances in the evening.
Housing and Public Works Minister SM Rezaul Karim will be present as the chief guest at the evening session at 5:30pm.
Commemorating Bangla songs and its creators of the period from ‘Shakta Padabali’ to present, prominent artistes from Bangladesh and India as well as teachers and students of the department will perform during the two-day festival.
Celebrated Indian singer Sreeradha Bandyopadhyay will be present at the first day’s cultural programme.
Over 250 students of the department will present improvised choral songs on the first and second days of the festival.
On the first day, singer Mita Haque, Tapan Mahmud, Tapan Chowdhury, Dinat Jahan Munni, Sharmin Islam, Bijon Mistri and artistes of the department will perform.
An open discussion titled ‘Music in Institutional Education: Dreams, Possibility and Reality’ is scheduled to be held on the second day of the festival.
Experts will take part in the discussion and shed light on the situation of music in institutional education, its success, contemporary crisis and plans to overcome those issues.
The key discussants are Sohrab Uddin, director, Music and Dance Department, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy; Kamal Ahmed, director of programme, Bangladesh Betar; Mahbuba Ferdousi, head of programme, Bangladesh Television; Prof Santosh Kumar Dhali, Chief Editor, National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB); Prof Kristee Hefaz, principal, Government Music College; Dr Rezwan Ali, chairman, Music Department, Jagannath University; and Assistant Professor Tumpa Samadder, Chairperson of DU’s Music Department.
On the second day of the festival, Bangladeshi celebrated artistes Ferdous Ara, Khairul Anam Shakil, Syed Abdul Hadi, Rafiqul Alam and Hasina Mumtaj along with teachers of the department will perform while two Bangladeshi bands are scheduled to perform at the programme.
Celebrated Bangladeshi Nazrul Sangeet exponent Nilufar Yasmin, also a teacher of the department till her death, will be honoured at the programme.
Tumpa Samadder, Chairperson of the department, told UNB the music festival is very special this year, as artistes will perform songs created from the early days of the country’s musical history till date.
In 1993, a subsidiary course on Music was introduced directly under the supervision of Dean, Faculty of Arts, Dhaka University. A similar course on Theatre was introduced in 1989, also under the Dean, Faculty of Arts.
Both of these separate units were brought under a single departmental administration on August 1, 1994 and named as the Department of Theatre and Music.
In 1995, the department introduced two MA programmes -- one on Music and another on Theatre.
In 1998, the Department of Music introduced 4-year Honours and one-year Master’s dgree course on Classical, Folk, Tagore, Nazrul songs and instrumentals. MPhil and PhD degrees were also included and started from 2000.
In 2009, the Music Department started its journey as an individual department.
Currently, over 250 students are studying for Honours and Master’s degrees on Tagore, Nazrul and Folk songs, and Classical Music.
The new head of Cuba's legendary National Ballet says she hopes to renew the institution after the death of long-time director Alicia Alonso by introducing new choreography and appearances by dancers who have emigrated to other companies.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Viengsay Valdés, 43, said Alonso's insistence on classical technique and repertory served the company well for decades, but modernization is imperative.
Valdés said she is looking to perform new works and bring in dancers from other countries to help instruct the company's dancers. She said she wants to include former company members who have left to perform in other countries.
"I will always defend classical technique as the artistic base for a good dancer, and from there one can grow into other types of choreography," she said Thursday. "What we must do is enrich what we have today, develop what we have. Without studying the past we can't progress and, yes, we have to modernize."
Valdés became deputy artistic director of the National Ballet after a long, stellar career as a dancer and she retains that title even after the death of Alonso, the company's founder, at 98 in October. Despite her official status as deputy, she is in charge of the company.
Cuba's Soviet-style system that recruits children into a system of increasingly selective state dance schools has produced hundreds of elite dancers including Lorna Feijóo, Rolando Sarabia, Taras Domitro, Anette Delgado and Carlos Acosta.
The company founded in 1959 has been criticized for a stale repertory and failure to modernize, factors that contributed to the flight of many of the best dancers.
Valdés said she has begun to try to address many of the problems.
"I have been trying to promote and give everyone access to the information that they need as artists and that's a mission that I have had since I took over direction of the company."
Emigre Cuban dancers, once barred from performing here after defecting from the country, have been returning gradually to appear on stage in Havana in recent years, something Valdés said she would encourage.
"I think that, yes, we can give them the opportunity to perform in Cuba," she said. "This also enriches the new generations."
Thai Cultural Minister Itthiphol Kunplome on Friday announced that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has formally added traditional Thai massage to its intangible cultural heritage list, following the traditional Khon dance that had already been listed.
The announcement was made at the ongoing Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage's 14th session in Bogota, Colombia.
"Thai massage is an aspect of traditional medicinal wisdom that is related to Buddhist teachings and local cultures," said Itthiphol, adding "Thai traditional massage is now recognized as a form of alternative medicinal therapy, applicable to modern medicine."
The minister said the enlisting of Thai traditional massage into UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage list also promotes the Thai tourism industry.
Mexico's most famous living author, Elena Poniatowska, is standing by her claim that she was sexually abused by an older colleague in 1954.
Poniatowska, 87, reacted this week after relatives of deceased novelist Juan Jose Arreola lashed out publicly at her.
Poniatowska has said that Arreola was married and in his 40s when he had sex with her and fathered her first child out of wedlock.
In her recent novel "The Polish Lover," Poniatowska described the encounter as "the threat, the attack," and wrote she didn't fully know what was happening to her.
"I am alone. I don't know what love is. What has happened to me. The cot, the threat, the attack have nothing to do with what I have read in books," according to novel, which does not identify Arreola by name.
However, in a later interview with the newspaper Excelsior, Poniatowska said the man was Arreola.
This week, relatives of Arreola, who died in 2001, issued a letter criticizing Poniatowska. They published excerpts of apparently affectionate correspondence between the two, suggesting the encounter was a consensual "sentimental relationship."
The family wrote that "the truth of those years has been transformed today into an unfair narrative of falsehoods."
Poniatowska shot back this week, writing, "It was a relationship between a married adult who knew what he was doing, with a young woman who was inexperienced and unprepared in all senses."
Ponitowska is best known for novels and non-fiction works about the 1968 Tlatelolco student massacre and the 1985 Mexico City earthquake.