DHAKA: The tenth edition of Chobi Mela, the most prestigious photography festival in Asia, is scheduled to kick off on Feb 28.
In a press conference held at Drik’s new gallery in Panthapath on Jan 15, the organisers updated the media on upcoming festival programs.
The festival will continue with many happenings till Mar 9.
Chobi Mela - International Festival of Photography is put together biannually by Drik Picture Library Ltd and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute. Since its inception in 2000, Chobi Mela has been the most significant photography event in Asia and the first of a regular biennale.
At the press conference, Festival Director Shahidul Alam presented an overview of the upcoming festival and introduced the newly formed Chobi Mela advisory board members. Members include prominent Indian economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, former deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank Khondokar Ibrahim Khaled, human rights activist Khushi Kabir, Nepali publisher, writer and editor Kunda Dixit, Indian photographer Raghu Rai, economist Rehman Sobhan, literary critic, activist and historian Serajul Islam Choudhury and human rights activist and former advisor to the caretaker government of Bangladesh Sultana Kamal.
Shahidul Alam also shared that eminent writer Arundhati Roy from India will be visiting upcoming Chobi Mela to give an artist talk.
The theme for this year’s Chobi Mela X is ‘Place’. Curated by ASM Rezaur Rahman, Munem Wasif, Sarker Protick and Tanzim Wahab along with guest curators including Naeem Mohaiemen and Sabih Ahmed, the tenth edition of the festival will be more intimate, with all venues situated in Dhanmondi area.
The Drik-Pathshala under construction building in Panthapath will be the main venue along with other galleries of Alliance Francaise de Dhaka, Drik Gallery 1 & 2 (Dhanmondi) and Drik Gallery 3 (Panthapath).
Chobi Mela X also brings an exciting list of events. Artist’s talks, panel discussions and curated slideshow will be organised around the theme ‘Place’ at Goethe Institute Bangladesh auditorium. Pathshala South Asian Media Institute is the educational venue where workshops, and portfolio reviews will be held.
Chobi Mela X is to feature over 27 exhibitions with works from 35 artists spanning 20 countries. The festival has also engaged a group of young Bangladeshi artists to produce site-specific artwork for the festival. To investigate the theme ‘Place’, artists from different backgrounds of painting, drawing, animation, sculpture, photography, video, sound and installation will stretch the medium physically and conceptually.
The festival hosts workshops by photo practitioners from all around the world. This includes workshop by Peter Bialobrzeski, noted for his excellent photography teaching background. A bookmaking workshop by Valentina Abenavoli will be arranged with a group of photographers for hands on training on making their own photobooks. World renowned German publisher and bookmaker Gerhard Steidl will also give an artist talk on photobooks.
Ensuring access for the general public has always been an important part of the festival and mobile exhibitions on rickshaw vans have become its trademark. The mobile exhibition will travel all over Dhaka city including remote locations. The festival is free and open to the public.
To know more about the festival, those interested may visit www.chobimela.org.
BDST: 1311 HRS, JAN 17, 2019