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Painting workshop for children

It is truly a pleasure to see women from BD finally coming out of their conventional roles as home-makers and making it big in various fields. One hears about women journalists, photographers, entrepreneurs, singers, artists and well the list gets longer. Now, a woman teaching art at a professional level is pretty rare in our country. But Masuma Khan has overcome all odds to establish herself as a successful artist as well as an art teacher for children.

There was no looking back for her after she passed out from the painting department of the Institute of Fine Arts. Soon, she got herself an exhibition at the German Cultural Center in 1985 where Peter Jarvis, then director, gave her the idea of tutoring children who were interested in painting. Thus started her career at German Cultural Center where she had a three months' workshop for coaching children on art. After that she spent a whole 17 years conducting art workshops at Alliance Francaise from 1986 till 2003.

Being specialized in water color, acrylic and oil painting, Masuma Khan's workshops go beyond board classes. She believes that one cannot learn art by simply copying what the teacher draws on the board. Her tutoring started off with basic drawing along with composition. For example, if she draws figures she is particular about not missing out on the minute details around the figures. In her classes, students learn step by step first mastering pencil drawing then moving on to water color and oil painting. Those who know at least a little bit of art start with composing different cultural and patriotic occasions of BD such as Pohela Baishakh, Victory Day, Independence Day and etc.

Especially trained on modern impressionistic art, Masuma Khan's forte lies in water color painting. Passionate and intense about her work, Masuma Khan continues to conduct workshops mainly for children. She is thankful to all the people who supported her right from the beginning till present especially Ms. Zeenat Chowdhury, principal of South Breeze School, where she is currently taking her classes.

Enrollment for Masuma Khan's workshop will take place on the 14th of November 2008. The venue is South Breeze School, House # 60, Road # 11/A, Dhanmondi, Dhaka. The timing of the classes will be 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. every week on Fridays. The age limit for students is 6 to 20 years. Courses will be taken focusing on media oil pastel, water color and oil color. Interested people can contact her at 01713004900 and 7114638.

By Faria Sanjana
Photo: Saad Adnan

Expressions of the Masses

If you're thinking of doctors, morgues, hospitals and social service networks the moment you're hit with the term 'health', think again. If syringe, Ciprofloxacin and Red Cross are the only things you can imagine when it comes to 'health', think again. If you're munching down a bowl full of high-calorie prawn with greasy tomato sauce and thinking of 'health' in terms of a balanced diet, think again. If you're tired of thinking and re-thinking, take a stroll down DRIK Gallery on a casual evening within the next week, and you'll see what we're talking about.

From 30th October to 12th November 2008, DRIK Gallery is proud to present an exposition like no other. The juxtapose of photos, paintings and cartoons showcases an interpretation of 'health' in today's reality in Bangladesh under the banner of 'The Right to Health'. A project titled 'Reality Check' was conducted in cooperation of the Swedish Embassy aimed at reaching out to urban, suburban and rural areas across Bangladesh to give the locals a platform to voice their necessities and rights to a healthy life. In the years that followed, the project expanded and networked people across the country and resulted in a declaration that outlined an individual's rights to health. The Swedish Embassy had material from the 'Reality Check' study and was looking for ways to spread the knowledge gained through the study. GTZ HNSP wished to organize an art competition on human rights and health to initiate a dialogue between the government and civil society.

The organizations realized that the combination of artists and their visions of the rights to health, and the stories from the people all over Bangladesh would create an impact and reach out to the masses and government. The exhibition is a way of initiating a debate, not limited to discussion behind closed doors. It is meant to be a tool for bringing people and their visions together.

The exhibition is an eloquent show of people's interpretations of health. With graphical, humorous or subtly ironic caricatures and cartoons, the artists have depicted a conspicuous image of what health is now for the masses and what it should be. The second room on the second floor of the gallery hosts paintings from art enthusiasts, who through brush strokes and vivid oil colours have materialized a perspective on human rights to a healthy life. Thus, a creative and effective dialogue was exchanged between the viewers and the artists to shed light on matters that require social participation from all and government initiatives. One of the most interesting and unique artworks that has caught this reporter's attention was from Zakir Hossain, a strong painting with a plastic bag of Dextrose attached to its front. The first floor is a display of photos from the various locations 'Reality Check' was conducted and exudes a bunch of heartwarming smiles from the portraits hung on the walls and the viewers inspecting them.

'The Right to Health' is an exhibition different from many others this reporter has visited. Bringing together three different art forms in an expression of the same issue is an interesting and commendable approach. The colours, messages and images shout for attention and are worth taking a look at. DRIK Gallery is open between 3 to 8pm every day, so don't hesitate in sparing a few minutes to have a glance at what this exhibition is made of.

By Sabhanaz Rashid Diya

Unique Universe
Global Warming issues heat up

As we get closer to unveiling many secrets of our motherland, we fail to apprehend how we bad we are treating her and taking her for granted. Whatever we do, at the end the laugh is on us. As the 'extraordinary' carbon dioxide gets accumulated and makes global warming likely to vanquish us early, recent reports have show us that global warming gets worse. Ah, the misery.

Melting permafrost is the source of the largest carbon pool
Permafrost is frozen ground that contains roots and other soil organic matter that decompose extremely slowly. When it thaws, bacteria and fungi break down carbon contained in this organic matter much more quickly, releasing it to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide or methane, both greenhouse gases. Permafrost blanketing the northern hemisphere contains more than twice the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, making it a potentially enormous contributor to global climate change depending on how quickly it thaws. The estimated 1,672 billion metric tons of carbon locked up in the permafrost is more than double the 780 billion tons in the atmosphere today.

Researchers said the burning of fossil fuels contributes about 8.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year. Deforestation of the tropical forests and replacement of the forest with pasture or other agriculture is thought to add about 1.5 billion tons per year. How much permafrost will add will depend on how fast it thaws, but researchers said their research indicates the figure could approach 0.8-1.1 billion tons per year in the future if permafrost continues to thaw.

GW likely to stoke more powerful hurricanes!!!
An additional one degree Celsius in sea temperatures in tropical regions where cyclones breed could lead to a nearly one-third rise in the number of the most powerful storms, research says.

“As the seas warm, the ocean has more energy to convert to tropical cyclone wind," say authors of the paper, released by the London weekly Nature.Previous research, based on observations over the past 30 years, has already suggested that hurricanes -- as cyclones in the Atlantic are known -- have become more intense as a result of warmer seas.

In its Fourth Assessment Report, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), gathering top scientists, said last year that from 1906 to 2005, global surface temperatures had risen by 0.74 C (1.33 F), with the rise concentrated overwhelmingly in the final decades of the century. They predicted that by 2100, there would be warming of between 1.8 and 4.0 C (3.24 and 7.2 F)

Arctic melting shows global warming serious
Researchers announced late on Tuesday that the five ice shelves along Ellesmere Island in the Far North, which are more than 4,000 years old, had shrunk by 23 percent this summer alone.

"Climate models indicate that the greatest changes, the most severe changes, will happen earliest in the highest northern latitudes," said Warwick Vincent, director of the Centre for Northern Studies at Laval University in Quebec. Vincent, who has visited the ice shelves along Ellesmere Island every year for the past 10 years, said the impact of higher temperatures this year was "staggering"

His team had estimated that the shelves would lose eight square miles this summer. The true figure was 83 square miles.

"I think we're at a point where it is not stoppable but it can be slowed down. And if you think about the magnitude of effects on our society, then we really need to buy ourselves more time to get ready for some very substantial changes that are ahead," he said.

Ellesmere Island was once home to a single enormous ice shelf totaling around 3,500 square miles. All that is left today are the four much smaller shelves that together cover little more than 300 square miles.

Where do WE stand?
The predicted rise in temperature of the surface of the Earth could lead to a rise in sea levels by 0.5m and could threaten with inundation heavily populated coastal and deltaic areas from Mississippi to Bangladesh. Climatic disasters such as hurricanes, cyclones and droughts could become more frequent and severe.

The sea level changes constantly in every locality due to changes in tides, atmospheric pressure and wind velocity. But long-term sea level changes occur only due to changes in the global climate. Global warming will cause a thermal expansion of the seawater. A rise in temperature will also melt the polar and alpine ice sheets. Since Bangladesh is deltaic, vast areas of the country will be submerged with the rise of the sea level. "A little increase in temperature, a little climate change, has a magnified impact here," said A. Atiq Rahman, the director of the Bangladesh Center for Advanced Studies. A Taskforce report predicts that for one metre rise in the sea level will lead to loss of about 22,889 sq km of land, which is about 15.8% of the total area of Bangladesh.

We are doomed, maybe yes or maybe no. This indicates how we should really stop cutting trees, start planting them and stop annihilating the environment… its sad how we don't bother about it… Be aware of it or not be aware of it, we are going to die underwater anyways. Maybe we'll boogie underwater, and then die…


By Raida Kifait Reza

Graduation 2008
Summerfield International School

The graduation ceremony of Summerfield International School was held yesterday at Russian Cultura; Centre Summerfield is the senior section of Tiny Tots School which was founded by Mrs. Faizi Chowdhury and Margot Enander in 1974. Thny tots specialized in teaching sudents of junior classes for more than two decades before graduates on behalf of the student of Summerfield.



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