Volume 2 Issue 67 | October 10, 2009 |


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Feature Story

Celebrating Life 2009 Countdown

Saba El Kabir

Celebrating Life 2009 is fast approaching its climax. We have been receiving many anxious phone calls from Celebrating Life participants in regards to the final results of the competition, but although we can completely sympathize with the urge to know, at this point, unfortunately, we can offer only one response - the final rounds of judging is currently underway, and the winners will be announced on the night of the Awards Ceremony.

If it is any consolation, we are as eager to find out who the winners are as any of the participants. The intrigue of speculating on which entries will make it through a judging round, the excitement of finding out, the drama of personal favorites missing out, makes for quite a show. However, just to forestall any claims of favoritism or some such, we would like you to know that the judging panels are insulated from us, the Celebrating Life team, by layers upon layers of protocol, and in all honesty, even the catering team could exercise more influence on the judging process than us if they wanted to. Perhaps the catering team comparison does not best demonstrate the level of our irrelevance in terms of judging, as these teams tend to be pretty influential. But rest assured that we were completely irrelevant in terms of the judging; and also that while the judging sessions were not catering-free, the judgments most certainly are we, and our protocol, were ever-vigilant.

With the Awards Ceremony only weeks away, the usual calm of the Insight cubicle have been replaced by a frenzy of activities. It is amazing the amount of details that goes into organizing these things. The sheer volume of organizational work can be staggering at times.

There are phone calls to be made, emails to be written, designs to be finalized, plans to be confirmed, people to be persuaded, protocol to be followed. And then there are the endless iterations of drafting and re-drafting. What can we say, some typos just refuse to die.

In regards to the participation in Celebrating Life proper, we have received entries from several thousand participants from all over Bangladesh. Response from within Dhaka was strong as usual, but we were really heartened by the amount and quality of response from beyond Dhaka. Representation of non-Dhakaites among the short-listed entries is also strong, and while we bear no regional bias, it is always encouraging when there is broad national representation. We are very proud of these works, not only for the level of potential and talent that they represent, but also for, somewhat vane though it maybe, our sense of having found something worth all the effort. The idea behind Celebrating Life is simple, and that is to celebrate life. We believe in the power of the arts as a medium, and the power of individual as a force, to achieve this. We are confident that Celebrating Life 2009 shall only reinforce these believes.

As the Celebrating Life 2009 nears its end, there is a building sense excitement all around us. For the participants, the excitement undoubtedly revolves around the declaration of the winners, and the expectations thereof. For us, the organizers, while the intrigue of finding out who the winners are is of course there, the sense of excitement comes more from the approaching home base. While hindsight will surely give us the perspective to appreciate the true weight of Celebrating Life, be thankful for having had the opportunity to be a part of it all, and be excited by what had been achieved, at this point, after weeks of attending to the subtleties of organizational details, drafting and redrafting, the excitement is really all about getting it over with.

But come what may, we will put a on a show for you, and we hope to see you at the Hall of Fame of Bangabandhu International Conference Center, on a date to be announced. Until then, keep up the celebrations.