“Sovereign words: Facing the tempest of global art history” was a new iteration of Dhaka Art Summit’s Critical Thinking Ensembles, on Tuesday. The session was introduced with a Sami folk song by an artist and associate professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Tromsø. The song honoured the Sami National Day of February 6.
This was followed by a series of presentations; the first of which was by Kimberley Moulton, Senior Curator of South Eastern Aboriginal Collections, Melbourne Museum. She discussed the past seven years of her research into ancestral belongings in international and national collections, mentioning that her own grandfather was from India.
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An installation of a nursery Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune
During her presentation, she discussed the legacy of Captain James Cook's maiden voyage to trace the path of Venus and the mission of Terra Australis 250 years ago, which resulted in the very first cultural objects being stolen from Australia.
Art is nothing but a way to connect with the world and express feelings of joy, music, love, and ecstasy. Or, it is like flowers blooming in spring season, asked Madhubani-based 'Mithila' artist Santosh Kumar Das during his presentation session.
Santosh is renowned for his artworks Krishna, Buddha, Monsoon, and a series on the Gujarat riots.
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School children on a walking tour of the art summit Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune
Irene Snarby, an academic at Arctic University of Norway observed that if the Sami people hang on to their old ways, the whole community will be forgotten and be relegated to museums.
Venkat Raman Singh Shyam, a contemporary Indian artist and Daniel Browning, an Aboriginal journalist, radio broadcaster, documentary maker, sound artist, and writer also spoke at the session.