The eleventh edition of a two-day traditional festival, in honour of clay artisans, concluded at Ashwini Kumar Hall in Barishal recently. The festival was first held in Barishal in 2009. It focuses on the preservation of our cultural heritage and the arts. This year, the festival featured a photo, painting and pottery exhibition, a pottery painting competition for children, pottery stalls, a discussion and a cultural function, among other things. It was organised by Mritshilpi Sammilon O Sammanana. Guests at the festival spoke about developing healthy working conditions and eco-friendly materials for clay artisans.
Among others, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Mangol Shovajatra Research and Expansion Center, Charukola in Barishal, Summit Group, Berger Paints, Amrita Food Products were associated with the festival. Serniabat Sadik Abdullah, MP, inaugurated the festival, eminent artist Rafiqun Nabi inaugurated the closing ceremony, while Dr Rafique Ullah Khan, Vice- Chancellor, Sheikh Hasina University, was the special guest. The closing ceremony of the festival was presided over by Dipangkar Chakraborty, Former President of Charukola in Barishal.
Nisar Hossain, Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts, Sheikh Hasina University, artists Moniruzzaman Monir and Sohrab Hossain, journalists Ajoy Dasgupta and J I Mamun Samina Nafiz, research scholar Mainuddin Khaled, art critic Mainul Abedin, potter Bishwershar Pal and Deputy Commissioner S M Ajiar Rahman were special guests as well.
More than 160 artisans from different areas across the country attended the festival, and 14 of them were awarded in 10 categories. Most notably, Dhirendra Nath Pal from Muktagacha, Mymensingh, received the Balohari Shaha Memorial Award and Usha Rani Pal from Mahespur, Barishal, received the Chitta Haldar Lifetime Award.