Marking World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, the British Council has arranged a solo exhibition titled Disappearing Roots by Samsul Alam Helal, from May 18 to 30 at British Council in Fuller Road.
The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is an international holiday, sanctioned by the United Nations, for the promotion of diversity issues. It is held on May 21. The day provides people with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to advance the four goals of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
Work of ‘Disappearing Roots’ focuses on the displacement in the hill tracts of Bangladesh and features the remaining traces of the ancient ways of life and highlights the violence of gentrification. The Kaptai dam was built in 1962 as a hydropower source, and it produces about five percent of the total electricity consumed by Bangladesh. People were displaced as a result of it. The palace of the Chakma king is also buried deep in the lake. The palace is part of the exhibition, along with a ‘chair’, the symbolic representation of the throne that travels around communities.
The exhibition features sounds, photographs, 3D models and videos, capturing the remaining traces of the ancient ways of life, highlighting the violence of gentrification.
Samsul Alam Helal is a freelance visual artist based in Dhaka. He completed his graduation in photography from Pathshala South Asian Media Institute. His aim is to go beyond the socio-cultural and political issues. He explores themes such as identity, dreams, longings and he plays with the psychological realm of these issues to understand the deeper marks they create.
In addition, Helal was one of the winners of The World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass in 2016 and participated in various group shows, including Kunsthalle Zurich, Speak Local 2017, Colombo Art Biennale 2016, Dhaka Art Summit 2016, Chobi Mela 2012, Bronx Museum, New York 2015, and others. Helal was also one of the visiting artists in the Fellowship Program at Harvard University in 2018.
The ceremony will be inaugurated tomorrow by Mohammad Moheuddin, Secretary General, Pen International, artist Dhali Al Mamun and Tanzim Wahab, Chief Curator of Bengal Foundation.