Chobi Mela (The International Festival of photography) is on its fourth round. And, this year the subject matter is as elusive as ever- Boundaries. What exactly a 'boundary' means remains open to the participants' interpretation, and it is that aspect of the exhibition that is bound to be worth the while.
The Festival opened on November 9, 2006 and will last for three weeks. The patron of 'Chobi Mela IV' is Prince Claus Fund for Cultural Development, The Netherlands. The partners, amongst others, include the Alliance Francaise, British Council, Canon, the European Commission and the National Geographic Society. Epson, The Daily Star, Channel I, Jamini and UNICEF are acting as associate partners. The media management is in the hands of Drik News, while IKON photo is overseeing the workshop management. The venues are: the Alliance Francaise, Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, British Council, Drik Gallery, Goethe Institute, Bangladesh National Museum, the Russian Cultural Centre and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. This is an event that will go to prove photography defies culture and language.
The participants are from different nooks and niches of the globe- Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, UK, USA, Croatia, Chez Republic and Afghanistan. There are also some group exhibitions.
There is a total of 47 exhibitions, and the number of photographs is reported to exceed 1000. Another intriguing aspect of the Festival is the display of moving exhibitions under which photographs will cruise the City on 18 rickshaw vans (Mirpur to Mohammadpur, Bahadur Shah Park, Sadarghat to Dhaka University). Drik NEWS is, moreover, hopeful about the turn-ups, expecting at least 2,00,000 visitors.
One of the participants to look forward to this year is Munem Wasif, who was a feature photographer of Star Lifestyle. His focus is on the boundaries that prevail in tea garden estates. The joys and the sorrows, the longings and the disdain of the tea pickers. The impenetrable façade of the tea estate mansions, which veil all the drama unravelling underneath. His exhibitions are up for the eye's delight in Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy from the 9th to the 18th of November 2006. But the other participants are all equally qualified and their exhibition equally excellent. Therefore take time out and visit the on going Chobi Mela at all the mentioned venues.
Photo: Munem Wasif
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Fashion design- working with needles and threads
Fashion victims and fad wannabes are taking over the world. Soon it may be a place where atrocious fashion will be the trend. Concerned? Disconcerted? This may very well be your opportunity to rescue the world from sliding down the inevitable gutter of fashion revulsion… Learn fashion designing.
Jokes apart, this career route- fashion designing- seems to have become more appealing to the current generation. After all, to wear good clothes, there needs to somebody to excogitate them. These happen to be some the few prominent institutions that offer courses relating to fashion designing:
Fashion Institute of Designing (FID) Ltd.
FID is affiliated with ALT Training College Foundation, Banglore, India. With the institution currently taking in students for its 10 th batch, it claims to open doors to the style domain- from the very basic principle to the latest trends and technology. Its prime strength lies in apparel and textile designing, and marketing in the backdrop of dynamic technology. There are three different courses that FID provides: 1 year Diploma in Fashion design (including 3 or 1 months training in Banglore, India), a Certificate course in Fashion Design (1 year), and a 6 months short course on Fashion Design. The Diploma students can further avail 2 months industrial internship in various organisations as a part of their curriculum. The admission deadline is 15th November 2006. For further details, please contact: Fashion Institute of Designing Ltd., Tower Hamlet (5th Floor), 16 Kamal Ataturk Avenue, Banani, Dhaka. Telephone: 8811375.
National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFD)
NIFD is an Indian-based institute, whose founder is the renowned designer, Ritu Beri. It started its journey in Bangladesh in 2003, and now has several notable courses. There are two certificate courses: a short course (6 months) and two diploma courses (1 year and 2 years). The other course offered is Fashion Garments Manufacturing, Merchandising and Marketing, which is a professional course (6 months), especially for those with some fashion background, but in need of technical expertise. There are four sessions per year (January, April, July and October). Prospective student must hold an HSC (or equivalent) degree. For further information, please contact: National Institute of Fashion Design, Arif Plaza (5th Floor), 41 Kamal Ataturk Avenue, Banani, Dhaka. Telephone: 9893510, 9862341.
Shantomorium University of Creative Technology
This is a university famous for its variety of courses in different fields- music, interior designing, graphic designing and multimedia and so on. It diversified to the courses of fashion design in 2003. You can enroll in the 4 year honours course (BA in fashion Design), or embark on the 2 year diploma certified by Edexcel International. These largely focus on apparel manufacturing and management, textile, knitting, etc. For both the honours degree and the diploma, the student must have passed his/her HSC (or equivalent) exams. Those who have only their SSC can take up the National Diploma. In the near future, it is planning to start a Masters course on Fashion Design. For further information, please contact: Shantomorium University of Creative Technology, House-1, Road- 14, Sector-13, Uttara, Dhaka-1230.
By Shahmuddin Ahmed Siddiky
Eatery etiquettes 101
Planning on eating out at a posh restaurant? You may have a stunning girlfriend. You may be loaded with cash. You may sport the latest version of Nokia and some slick designer clothes. But all this could be a complete waste of time (and money!) if your 'eatery etiquettes' are not in check. Most of these, we all know. Yet there are often (and maybe a little more than often) times when they slip out of our minds. Tiny things do make large differences. This is a reminder of that.
Restaurants are places where people go for some quite moments, where they can share some cosy time (and some delectable dishes) with their families and friends. Respecting that is a sign of a gentleman. If your voice has the habit of running up the volume scale, this is the time to display your restraint. Furthermore, make sure your cell phone (however sport able) is set to the silent mode. People do NOT go to eateries to familiarise themselves with the latest ring tones.
Back to basics
Of course, if you do not know them by now, it is way too late. Remember the petty things your mother taught you? Like, 'chew with your mouth closed', 'don't slurp', 'don't clink your cutlery' and so many more. These are invaluable lessons of life. If you do know them, thank your mother. She deserves that much.
Forking the way out
You must also have mastered the art of handling cutlery- the ministrations of knife, fork and spoon should be up your sleeve. There are different types of spoons (for soup, for rice, teaspoons, etc.). Know them. It would be amusing to see someone eat his or her dessert with the soupspoon. The same applies to forks and knives.
Finding your voice…maybe it was better lost
Screaming at the waiter (or as a matter of fact, at anyone) is a 'no no'. Screaming to grab attention is another. If you need something, politely raise your hands or a finger (the index).
Etiquettes can make or break a man. The saying has long become a cliché, but old-sayings do become clichés because they are true. Perhaps it would be better to invest all that money in an etiquette lesson. At least that would pay off.
By Shahmuddin Ahmed Siddiky