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Chobi Mela VI Looks Forward to Making a Difference

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Posted on?February 2, 2011 by?Chulie de Silva in Chobi Mela VI blog

Three cheers for Chobi Mela, Participants at the last day of evening presentations at Goethe Institue 27 January, 2011. Photograph ??Mahabub Alam Khan/DrikNews

Dhaka, Bangladesh. February 2, 2011: Chobi Mela VI ? International Festival of Photography draws to a close on a high note after a two weeks long showcasing of creative talent in 29 print and 31 digital exhibitions. The last day to catch the exhibitions will be 3 February 2011 and they will be at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Alliance Francaise de Dhaka, The Asiatic Gallery of Fine Arts, The British Council, Drik Gallery, The Goethe-Institut and the Lichutola at Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka.
Pathshala students and international visitors at the start of the festival. Photograph ? K M Asad

?The overwhelming sense of Chobi Mela VI in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in Asia at the beginning of what has been described as the Asian Century is one of potential. Huge creative potential, the potential to change the narrative of the global community, recast its mythologies and restate its essence,? says visitor Chris Riley from U.S.A.. ?From Dhaka the stories must be different; they must be from a different perspective and in a different form. This is the Chobi Mela challenge: to emerge into the world and change it.?
?The success of this festival is because of you. The practitioners who have walked the walk, and the audience who have nurtured and supported this crazy dream. It is a dream we will dream together, and triumph we shall? Shahidul Alam. Photograph ? D M Shibly

Dhaka?s young band of photographers is more than ready to take up the challenge. There outlook is fresh and the creativity of their work is impressive. The euphoria, the excitement among the young and the veterans was palpable. The old hands were free with their advice but the young were not averse to arguing and holding on to their positions. A comment by Chris Riley sums up the festival aptly. ?The brilliance of Chobi Mela persistently emerges as a near contact sport between the past and the future, old and young.?
Shahidul Alam moderates a panel discussion on ?Are There Other Ways of Seeing?? about the cultural implications of visual grammar with Laurence Leblanc French artist and Dick Doughty, Managing Editor, Saudi Aramco World, U.S.A. Photograph ??Mahabub Alam Khan/DrikNews

Dr. Shahidul Alam, Festival Director recalls how people were incredulous when Drik decided to set up its own festival of photography, which would showcase the work of Bangladeshi artist alongside the most exciting work from the rest of the world. Against all odds the Chobi Mela festival has gone from strength to strength. ?If impossibility is a criterion for success, then Chobi Mela has all the credentials,? says Alam.
Shahidul Alam and Pedro Meyer in conversation with John G Morris, the picture editor of the New York Times during the Vietnam war who joined the evening presentations at Goethe Institut on 22 January 2011. Morris in 1971, is the edotor who first published Nick Ut's picture of the young girl with burn injuries running from a Napalm attack. Photograph ? Saikat Mojumder/DrikNews

To achieve this success Drik additionally used new technologies to include a global audience by live broadcast on Drik TV ( the inauguration at the National Theatre Auditorium, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and the evening presentations at Goethe Institut from 21-27 January.

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