An international symposium exploring themes from the Homelands exhibition took place at Clore Learning Studio, Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, UK on January 18. Under the title Homelands: Art, Conflict and Displacement in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, the scholarly gathering of eminent contemporary artists, curators, researchers, writers and academics addressed an array of issues regarding the context of 1947 partition of the subcontinent, and its subsequent ramifications of people’s displacement, migration and homelessness.
Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation (DBF) has supported the symposium, alongside various other programmes of the exhibition.
Referencing the powerful visuals and arts exhibited in different parts of the world by the artists of South-Asian origin, several prominent scholars, curators and art practitioners like Syed Manzoorul Islam, Devika Singh, Iftikhar Dadi, Bani Abidi, Hammad Nasar, Sophie Ernst, Nada Raza, Zehra Jumabhoy, Yasmin Jahan Nupur and Alina Khakoo presented papers and moderated the three sessions of the symposium.
The exhibition brings together 11 contemporary from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. The exclusive art show explores the instability of home, citizenship and nationality in a region marked by colonialism and its repercussions – including the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, and the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, as well as contemporary migration across South Asia.
Curated by Dr Devika Singh, who currently serves as the Curator of International Art at Tate Modern, the exhibition encompasses photography, sculpture, painting, video and installation, along with a number of new works by Desmond Lazaro, Seher Shah, Sohrab Hura, Yasmin Jahan Nupur, Iftikhar Dadi, Elizabeth Dadi, and Munem Wasif, as well as a newly conceived performance by Nikhil Chopra. It also showcases thought-provoking works by Bani Abidi, Shilpa Gupta, and Zarina.
DBF promotes arts and artists from South Asia and beyond, internationally. It supports artists in creating new artworks with relevant exhibitions, publications and residencies. Having offices in Berlin and in Dhaka, DBF offers a conduit to connect art and artists between Asia, Europe and beyond.