Festival Director Shahidul Alam talks about the challenges and expectations one faces when running a festival such as Chobi Mela and points out the festival?s uniqueness and beauty.
There?s only few days left before the beginning of Chobi Mela VII and there are still a thousand things to be done and we are awaiting many guests from all over the world. So tell me, how is this Chobi Mela different from previous editions of the festvial? What is special this time round?
Firstly, it?s actually an extension of previous ones, What we?ve always done in Chobi Mela is to ensure that it?s a very inclusive festival, there are people from all the continents, there is a very diverse range of work in terms of photographic practices, but also in terms of the ideas behind it. Of course we have some artists who are here for very first time, I mean Graciela Iturbide will be here for the first time, Max Pam will be here for the first time, we are not sure yet if Eugene Richards is able to make it, they have very tight schedules but their work is already here. So yes! Very exciting work.
I think it?s also very different in the sense that this time we have a much broader curatorial team, different styles, there?s been a far stronger curatorial input on this festival than there has been previously and of course new venues even within Shilpakala (National Art Gallery), it allows us to do things in a very different way.
I think it?s also different because there is much much more Bangladeshi involvement in this festival then there?s ever been. So in a sense while Chobi Mela is something we have been doing over so many years, its only now the Bangladeshi public is waking up? What a fantastic event it is. And I think this will certainly be an event to remember.
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