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A female world, beyond imagination

  • Published at 12:42 am February 14th, 2020
Dhaka Art Summit 2020
Purple walls at the at Dhaka Art Summit 2020 don portraits of the feminine form in various states Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Gallery review of ‘Social movements and feminist futures'

Art has the power to be vocal without being loud, and vice versa, and sometimes is the perfect medium for those controversial conversations. Among the themed galleries at Dhaka Art Summit 2020, guests at “Social movements and feminist futures” gallery were treated to a visual spectacle of stories of disenfranchised women.

At the entrance of the gallery, one is greeted by Chitra Ganesh’s artwork and a sculptural totem pole of female faces. Deep purple walls display the feminine form in various states; in defiant repose, rejecting the diktat of society, in their avatars as goddesses, students, scientists, homemakers, and more. Juxtaposed against a backdrop of galaxies, these pieces speak to the awesome potential of women. 

Adriana Bustos had an interactive display that had two star charts facing one another across the hallway. In one, famous women luminaries are depicted. In the other is an illustration of acts of violence perpetrated by patriarchy. Between them is a window with red glass. When you look through the glass, the violent images disappear, to be replaced with a reflection of the female change-makers. The artist leaves the viewers to what they see and how they see it. 

Taslima Akhter’s art displays the lost lives of the Rana Plaza collapse. The names and images of the victims are embroidered nakshi kanthas with pictures of their families, messages and the date of their death. The subtle narratives portray their lives before the tragedy.  These women lived humbly, worked hard, had a family – all lost in a due to the faultless capitalist society. 

Although dealing with some difficult themes, the art pieces were colourful, evocative and provocative, leaving the viewers with many things to think about.

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