Dhaka Friday December 31, 2010

Looking back at 2010

'Superior Responsibility'
The Legal Context

The Curious Case of the 195 War Criminals

In the year that was

Bangladeshi Constitution
A Good Governance Paradigm

The Next Step


Living with Erosion

Secularism, Bangali Hegemony and Our Constitution

Achievers of the Year

Unanswered Questions about the Garments Wage Issue

The Spirit of Art

Economic Review 2010

The Only Solution

The Polluter Pays Principle

Keeping Promises




Countdown to Tagore's 150th Birth Anniversary
Marking Tagore's 150th birth anniversary on May 8, 2011the governments of Bangladesh and India have initiated a yearlong celebration. Major cultural organisations have also been arranging programmes on the occasion. One such event was held at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on June 11, 2010. Shurolok (Bangladesh) and Nabopratisruti (Kolkata, India), along with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, arranged the daylong cultural programme, titled ''Bishwe Bangali.'' Renowned singers, reciters and dancers from both countries performed at the event.



International Theatre Institute Festival
With the aim of rediscovering theatre through a contemporary outlook, a weeklong international seminar, theatre festival, workshop and exhibition was held at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, starting from April 15, 2010. The Bangladesh Centre of International Theatre Institute (ITI), in association with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, organised the festival, which featured 20 theatre productions from home and abroad. It was the 10th edition of the festival that is held every alternate year. Manirath Group Theatre from Kolkata and Chinese Opera Institute were two featured troupes from overseas at the event.



14th Asian Art Biennale and Exhibition of Three Maestros
The 14th Asian Art Biennale 2010 began on October 8. As part of the festival, exhibitions were held simultaneously at two venues -- National Art Gallery of Bangladesh Shillpakala Academy and Osmani Memorial Hall. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the event. Shilpakala Academy has been organising the biennale since 1981. This year, apart from Bangladesh, 26 countries took part at the biennale that featured over 300 artworks. The festival continued till November 6. As part of the Art Biennale, the National Museum organised an exhibition of three legendary artists of the country -- Zainul Abedin, Quamrul Hassan and SM Sultan -- at Nalini Kanta Bhattashali Gallery. The exhibition featured 86 selected artworks from the collection of the museum.



Shahrukh Khan Entertains Dhaka
All roads led to Army Stadium on December 10, as the “King of Bollywood” Shahrukh Khan enthralled his countless Bangladeshi diehard fans at a dazzling three-hour show. The show, titled ''King Khan Live in Dhaka'' was organised by Antar Showbiz. The fans, most of whom were seemingly youngsters and females, didn't want to miss the opportunity to see Khan perform live in Dhaka for the first time. A team of performers including Bollywood stars Rani Mukerjee, Arjun Rampal and Isha Koppikar joined Khan in the live performance. “I've heard of Kazi Nazrul Islam and Jasimuddin. I love Runajee's (Runa Laila) music. That's why I'm in Dhaka,” said Khan.


Two Mega Concerts by BAMBA


Bangladesh Musical Bands' Association (BAMBA), held two major concerts this year -- both for great causes. The first show, titled “Concert for Sundarbans” was held on October 1 at Army Stadium. It was organised in cooperation with Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation. Fifteen popular and upcoming bands gathered at the concert to generate awareness and to collect votes for the Sundarbans -- the largest mangrove forest of the world -- to have it included on the ''seven natural wonders of the world'' list. The second concert was held on December 3 at the same venue. This time BAMBA joined with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for the call: “Say No To Violence Against Women: Be A Real Man!” This time, 12 seasoned and upcoming bands came together to generating awareness on violence against women and sexual harassment.


Pahela Baishakh Celebrations


The nation welcomed ''Pahela Baishakh,'' first day of the Bangla year 1417, on April 14, 2010 amidst lively pageantry, leaving behind the gloom of the past and pledging to uphold the nation's cultural heritage. Tens of thousands of people from all walks of life dressed in traditional clothes poured into the streets, parks and open spaces across the capital and elsewhere in the country from early morning to welcome the Bangla New Year. The main venue was the Ramna Park, where Chhayanaut, one of the leading cultural organisations of the country, has been organising their 'barshoboron' since 1967. Many cultural organisations arranged separate programmes to celebrate the occasion. Other venues inside the recently announced “cultural belt” including Charukala, TSC, Shilpakala Academy, Public Library and National Museum premises buzzed with the footsteps of people.



Lalon Smaran Utshab
Hundred and twenty years after Fakir Lalon Shai's demise, hundreds of thousands of people -- from ardent devotees to curious tourist types -- still gather at his 'akhra' (den). This year's five-day Smaran Utshab (memorial festival) -- from October 16 to 20, 2010, at the 'akhra' in Chheuria, Kushtia was no different. People from all corners of the country attended the 'utshab'. After Lalon's demise in 1890, his disciples started arranging programmes to commemorate the bard. The tradition extended gradually. The main 'utshab' venue has also expanded over the years and has been divided into smaller parts. ''Dol Utshab'' is another big festival in Chheuria that is usually held in March-April.


GMB Akash

Soulscapes: GMB Akash's Solo Photo Exhibit
Photographer GMB Akash is the first Bangladeshi to be selected for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass (in 2002). Last year's Travel Photographer of the Year award further cemented his reputation as one of the most insightful photojournalists at work today across the globe. A solo exhibition, “Soulscapes,” featuring six photo stories by Akash, was held this year at the Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts. “Survivors,” “Born to Work,” “Life for Rent,” “Suicide Cotton Farmers,” “Lonely Home” and “Burning Ghat” were the titles of the stories.


Impress Telefilm

“Moner Manush” Released
Films on Fakir Lalon Shai are few and far between. Gautam Ghosh's “Moner Manush” will remain a landmark in this regard. The film, released in December, has already won several international awards. This is the second Bangladesh-India joint production, directed by Ghosh. An adaptation of the Sunil Gangopadhyay novel that presents a portrait of Lalon, the film is a thorough sketch of the mystic bard's life and works. Mainstream West Bengal actor Prosenjit has donned the role of Lalon, while Bangladeshi actors Sudeshna Sayamprabha, Raisul Islam Asad, Hasan Imam, Laila Hasan and Chanchal Chowdhury played other central roles in the film. Impress Telefilm Ltd. is the Bangladeshi producer of the film.


Ananda Jagya at Shilpakala Academy


Indira Gandhi Culture Centre, High Commission of India, Dhaka, in association with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy arranged a cultural festival titled ''Ananda Jagya,'' at the National Theatre Hall, starting from November 26. Featuring Hindustani classical music (vocal and instrumental), dance, theatre, fine arts and handicrafts, the festival was held in Chittagong and Rajshahi as well as Dhaka, and continued till December 3. Highlights of the event were a classical music (vocal) performance by Professor Rita Ganguly and her troupe, and staging of the Manoj Mitra play “Ja Nei Bharat-e.”


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