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Dhaka Tribune

Puran Dhaka comes to life in interactive exhibition

A group of 49 architecture students and faculty from Dhaka, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram, and Paris are exploring Puran Dhaka

Update : 05 Feb 2023, 06:36 PM

The highly-anticipated "Learning from Puran Dhaka: The Urbanity of Occupations along the Buriganga Riverfront" exhibition and workshop opened its doors to the public at La Galerie of the Alliance Française de Dhaka on Saturday.

The opening ceremony was graced by several prominent figures, including Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union in Bangladesh Charles Whiteley, Ambassador of France to Bangladesh Marie Masdupuy, and Netherlands Envoy to Bangladesh Thijs Woudstra.

"We at the Alliance Française de Dhaka are proud to host this workshop and exhibition that brings together students from different parts of the world to learn and celebrate the heritage of Puran Dhaka," stated François Grosjean, the director of Alliance Française de Dhaka during the opening ceremony. 

Dhaka Tribune

"It is our responsibility to give back to the society and preserve its rich history and culture. We are grateful to the local authorities for their support and collaboration in making this project a success.”, he said.

The director emphasized the importance of collaboration and thanked the local partners, including Dhaka South City Corporation and the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), for their support in making the event possible.

Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh welcomed international students taking part in the workshop and exhibition. 

The mayor urged the students to try out the local street foods, such as fuchka and pitha, and to experience rickshaw rides in the city. 

He emphasized the rich cultural heritage of Dhaka and encouraged the students to immerse themselves in the local experience. 

Taposh also mentioned excavations have been carried out in an effort to bring back the old Buriganga, with a focus on improving water quality and restoring the river's ecological balance. The revitalization of the Buriganga River is seen as important for the preservation of Dhaka's heritage and the overall improvement of the city's environment.

The exhibition is a component of the third installment of the ongoing project "River Heritage: Learning from Puran Dhaka," which is coordinated by the EUNIC cooperative in Bangladesh in association with the EU Mission in Bangladesh and the Dutch and French Embassy in Bangladesh. 

The initiative is also receiving support from a number of regional organizations, notably Dhaka South City Corporation, Buet's architecture department, and various art foundations.

Dhaka Tribune

A group of 49 architectural students and faculty members from various architecture schools from Dhaka, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram, and Paris are engaging themselves in the rich heritage of Puran Dhaka. 

They have arrived in the city with a mission to document life along the Buriganga riverfront and to understand the urbanity of the occupations that take place in this historic area.

The students will be split into working groups to carry out interviews, capture images, and document the daily life of the people living in Puran Dhaka. 

The students will have a keen focus on the inhabitants who work in this area, as they play a significant role in shaping the urbanity of the region. They will also be working closely with the local community to get a deep understanding of their lives, their challenges, and their livelihoods.

As they go about their work, the students will be taking photographs, making sketches and drawings, and conducting in-depth interviews to gain a comprehensive understanding of the area. 

Their aim is to create a rich tapestry of life in Puran Dhaka that reflects the stories and experiences of the people who live there.

Students will present their work in an exhibition, showcasing their observations, and insights into life along the Buriganga riverfront. 

Through their work, they hope to not only document the heritage of Old Dhaka but also bring attention to the important role that people in work play in shaping the urbanity of this historic region.

The exhibition will showcase the students' drawings, maps, sketches, observations, and photographs of Puran Dhaka. 

It will remain open till February 20, from 3pm to 9pm, giving visitors the opportunity to explore the rich history and culture of Puran Dhaka.

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