Right to the City: A colourful celebration of International Women’s Day | The Daily Star
01:39 PM, March 08, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:02 PM, March 08, 2021

Right to the City: A colourful celebration of International Women’s Day

For International Women's Day 2021, the European Union (EU) Delegation to Bangladesh organised 'Right to the City', a daylong mural painting event, on March 6. The wall outside the EU Delegation Office in the capital's Gulshan 2 was painted by eighteen young female artists in less than seven hours. The mural was curated, coordinated and led by noted artist Fareha Zeba. Renowned artist Kanak Chanpa Chakma was also a part of the initiative. EU Ambassador to Bangladesh, Rensje Teerink, will unveil the mural at 4:30 pm today. "Right to the City provides a platform for emerging female artists to exhibit their works. It is nice to see so many women collaborating. I am proud that the EU Delegation boldly supports the voices of women," she shared.

Singular pieces by eighteen artists are on exhibit on the 72 feet long and 10 feet high wall. The artists are: Nuzhat Tabassum, Kazi Istela Imam, Easmat Ara Mitu, Mahmuda Akter Lutfa, Surovi Akter, Manashi Banik, Atia Maibam, Saria Ahmed, Saiq'a Chowdhury, Dibarah Mahboob, Nipa Nipobithi Das, Laila Fazal, Akhinoor Binte Ali, Zannat Keya, Papia Sarwar Dithi, Mondrila Modhurima, Avlee Chakma and Ruposhree Hajong. The artists' submissions went through a selection process. After multiple corrections for two weeks, Fareha Zeba completed the orientation and chronology of the mural.

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Every artist has their own expressions, and this mural is a depiction of how, regardless of the differences in perception, womanhood can be expressed synonymously. "The artworks of individual artists are different, yet very similar at the same time. Altogether, we ensured that the mural gives off a very happy and hopeful message," said Fareha Zeba. "Our team had a few artists who came from outside Dhaka. They added indigenous motifs to the mural."

"We used abstract concepts, patterns, and nature-based motifs to embody our expressions. It was challenging in some ways, but we did it," said artist Dibarah Mahboob. "The biggest challenge was figuring out how to divide the wall in a fair way between all 20 artists and to try to have the design merge in a seamless way, accommodating the styles of all the artists. Fareha Zeba did a wonderful job in planning the design and assigning spots."

The mural showcases tribal materials from Bandarban, abstract patterns, festivities, forests and floral motifs, among other things. "Women today are empowered more than ever before. We wanted to profess their rights through art. Even in the midst of the pandemic, these young artists came together. They joined Kanak and me to express womanhood through their powerful thoughts," added Fareha Zeba.

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