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Elderly in Bangladesh: Rowshan Ara Chowdhury

By Sabya van Elswijk,

 

This is Rowshan Ara Chowdhury. She is the grandmother of Alia Kamal, one of the artists of the Dhaka art project. When we first meet, Alia tells me how guilty she feels of having a grandmother in the house, with whom she barely speaks or has contact with. She says her grandmother has been demented for 6 years already, and is very inward and when she makes contact, its mostly abusive language. She did not even imagine her grandmother to know these words, and now she is using them daily.

When we go to their home, we meet a powerful looking old lady. She does not want to shake our hands, but she waves hello, meanwhile saying “dogs, dogs” in Bangla. Sitting with us at the table, she is looking at us. When Martijn waves at her she starts making faces, and he makes funny faces back.

Alia tells us that her grandmother was very much loved and in love with her husband, who died almost 40 years ago. He left her their big house in the village, called “Rowshan house”. After he died, her children came together and decided to sell the place. Rowshan was very upset by leaving her own house, and is still asking about the things that she had there. Now she lives with her daughter in Dhaka, with her daughter, granddaughter and servants as company.
Last they tried to cure her from Alzheimer, but the medicine made her much worse, and her daughter decided to stop the treatment. It is hard on her daughter, accepting the illness of her mother, and being powerless to help her.

Dialogues #6: work process

Dhaka art project 02-08-2014 by Sabya van Elswijk, So today everybody that is actively working with a group is here, except for Ali, Apurbo and Moon. Alia made a list with everybody’s name, subject, work process and contacts. Where shall we show our work? What shall we show and how shall we show it? Trina […] Continue reading →

Hijra in Bangladesh: Parvat

By Sabya van Elswijk, After our meeting with Boys of Bangladesh, we understand more about being gay in Bangladesh, and it is also clear you will not find people who call themselves ‘dragqueen’ openly here. We do want to work on this subject, and are looking for contacts in the Hijra community in Dhaka. Hijra’s […] Continue reading →

“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 →

Dialogue #4: Dhaka Art Project

Dialogue Dhaka art project 19-07 By Sabya van Elswijk, – Samsul shows Hijra works. He is new to the group, and is thinking about the subject. Sumon introduces him, tells about his work with groups of people in Dhaka, he shows his work to us. He worked with people and portrayed them in his ‘love […] Continue reading →

Depart Art Magazine artist lecture: “Artists are liars, like everybody is”.

By Sabya van Elswijk, Today Martijn is invited at Depart, an art magazine in Dhaka. Leaving at 13 from our studio, we arrive at 15 o’clock, just in time. There we meet Mustafa Zaman, the editor of Depart, who is also an artist. As he explains, in the 90ties there were artists and exhibitions in […] Continue reading →

The Dhaka Project in the Press #4

The Dhaka Project attracts attention of the international press. Tribe is a global creative publishing platform that works in partnership with creatives around the world. Let’s make this project worldwide known ! Find them on Facebook and on their Website 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 →