Artists, animators, and cartoonists reflected on self-isolation during a virtual session, recently.
Centre for Research & Information's youth platform, Young Bangla, hosted the session, titled 'New Normal', with Mahbubur Rahman, Britto Art Trust Coordinator and artist, Nadia Samdani, Co-Founder and President of the Samdani Art Foundation and Director of the Dhaka Art Summit, Rajeeb Samdani, Co-Founder and Trustee of the Samdani Art Foundation, Ayesha Sultana and Sabyasachi Mistry, artists, Samir Asran Rahman, an animation artist, Syed Rashed Imam Tonmoy, an artist and cartoonist. Meghdol Band vocalist Shibu Kumar Shil conducted the session on Monday.
"Due to the socio-economic crisis emerging from the pandemic, people are undergoing depression," shared Mahbubur Rahman. "But every cloud has a silver lining. People now have ample time to reflect on things that matter to them."
A few days into the Dhaka Art Summit calling it a day, its organisers Rajeeb Samdani and Nadia Samdani had to shut themselves up inside their home due to the spread of the coronavirus across the world. According to Nadia, they adjusted to self-isolation quite well, with time. Samdani Art Foundation is organising a workshop titled 'Art Around the Table, in partnership with JAAGO Foundation. It has artists and art enthusiasts from the country and abroad, highlighting art and photography.
Staying in her home in London, artist Ayesha Sultana said that she has been planning new ideas to work on. In her view, though the art galleries in Europe have reopened, it will not be easy to organise art exhibitions in South Asian countries such as Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. Sabyasachi Mistry said that he is carrying out his office tasks from home. He is also reading books and listening to music a lot lately.
Animation Designer Samir Asran Rahman said that he misses his time in the studio as he has to do all his tasks from home. cartoonist and artist Syed Rashed Imam has been working on the graphic novel on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The initiative of creatively presenting the life stories of Bangabandhu, based on his unfinished memoirs, for children, teenagers, and youths, was taken by Bangabandhu's grandson Radwan Mujib Siddique. Awami League's Research Wing Centre for Research & Information (CRI) has been publishing the books since 2015.
Recounting the experience, Tonmoy said, "No other example of such well-researched graphic novel in Bangladesh has been set before. It took time to design the characters, but we managed it well. We are done with seven books. There will be ten issues of the graphic novel."