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Elderly in Bangladesh: Tara Adhikary

By Sabya van Elswijk,


Aroni brings us to her former neighbour, or ‘auntie’ as she calls her. Tara Adhikary is her name, and she has come to Bangladesh from Jamsitpur, India after she married in 1951. She had her two sons here, and lived in this neighbourhood for many years. This is Mirpur 10, where many Christians live together, and a lot of churches are established.  Now one of her sons lives with his wife on the other side of the apartment, and one son lives abroad.

Her husband has died six years ago, and since that time she feels very alone. In her living room her walls are filled with photos of her husband, together with their sons when they were young, and in the middle their wedding picture. She welcomes us all, and apologizes for not having food or chocolates for our son. The wife of her son sends her food everyday, what she eats as lunch. She used to go out and do some shopping before, and go to church regularly. Now she has too much pain in her legs and hips to go out and descend the 7 stairs to her apartment.

Aroni tells about her childhood memories: Tara knows her since she was just a baby, and they lived on the ground floor of the building. Tara was always growing plants on the roof of the building, or cooking Indian food, to bring to her neighbours. When the children wanted to cook something, she helped them. At Christmas time Tara always lights candles in the whole staircase, just as her mother did when she was young in India.

When we show her the portraits of other elderly around the world, she is amazed and likes the Ipad, and she goes through the slideshow herself. She comments on the faces, or surroundings, “nice, beautiful, old, young”. She sits down in her grey Sari, sitting majestically straight looking at Martijn, while he photographs her. When we go, we have been there talking for a few hours, and she says she enjoyed our visit. Normally she only has the television to listen to, and as she says “her tongue lays silent in her mouth.”

Her portrait will be published soon, together with her life story.


“He wants to go beyond the Sun!!”

By Sumon, It is hard to recall the time, when with some of my friends we chatted on to the boat, near to a berth bank of the Burigonga river. It was in the middle of the day, somebody lay down and somebody relaxed to pass away a silent moment, then one of us just […] Continue reading →

Dialogues#5: development of the concept for showing art

An interesting conversation was held around the way to show and share the creations of the Dhaka Project. “We can use the rhizome as a metaphor for showing our art. The France philosopher used the Rhizome as a inspiration to create a non hierarchical philosophy but he placed it on a non spatial and non temporal plan, […] Continue reading →

Dialogues at Dhaka Art Center

By Sabya Van Elswijk, Dialogue Dhaka art center 12th of July Today we met with the artists in Dhaka art center, after asking the question last week to choose a group in Dhaka to work with, and make contact with these people. Emran is telling the group about his meeting with the Rickshaw drivers. Martijn […] Continue reading →

Lecture: “Artists are liars, like everybody is.” by Martijn Crowe in Dhaka

Martijn Crowe gave on July, 13th a lecture about ”the concept of the truth admitting that we love to lie, we can live in peace with each other, not taking ourselves too serious, teasing each other with the strong believes we might have and in fact are illusions. Admitting that we love to lie and […] Continue reading →

The Dhaka Project in the press #2

The Dhaka Art Project discussion was covered by Jhumu, a master student of Media studies and journalism in Dhaka. She is involved in the Dhaka Art Project as a writer. Her article is published in a local newspaper, Bonik Barta. Read the following interview in English or the original Bangladeshi version here. “Martjin Crowe is Brazilian […] Continue reading →

Dialogue at the Dhaka Art Center

                The Dhaka Art Project is progressing at Dhaka Art Center. A group of 25 artists are together creating projects around homeless, children and many other social issues with the aim of contributing to the world. Continue reading →

Building the Dhaka Art Project

The Dhaka Art Project is going forwards. Here, you see the results of an intensive brainstorming from the first project meeting. ” This is the first step to a concept for the Dhaka art project” M.Crowe   Continue reading →

Rickshaw drivers portraits

              An exchange of co-creation is set up between Martijn Crowe and Ronald Van Merkesteijn. Martijn makes photographs, portraits, of the Rickshaw drivers in the streets of Dhaka and sends it to Ronald, who makes a painted portrait. Find more works on our page.    Continue reading →