Some more flashbacks before the official launch of Chobi Mela VII! Less than 76 hours to go!
Today Iranian photographer Shadi Ghadirian talks about her experience of Chobi Mela.
1) What drew you to Chobi Mela? What are your strongest memories?
When I met Shahidul in person in Iran and he showed me the catalogues of Chobi Mela . Travelling to Dhaka was like a big surprise for me. All of it, from the beginning until the festival’s end.
2) What separates Chobi Mela from other festivals?
I felt so familiar with it all. The people who worked there were very friendly and I felt at home.
3) What is it about Dhaka that has made the biggest impression on you?
Lots of people were everywhere and they were OK with everything. I remember Nomoney and also I remember the nice girl who was my interpreter. I remember the night that we went on the boat cruise with all the photographers – there was lots of singing and dancing involved. I remember that all over the city there were photographs from festival. I also had the pleasure to meet the editor of ZoneZero, Pedro Meyer. Moreover I met the mother of Shahidul, an old lady who lived in the middle of Chobi Mela, in the same house! I loved Rahnuma (Shahidul’s partner) and I was lucky because I could stay at Rahnuma’s mother’s house where I could see for myself how Bangladeshi people live.
These are the things which stay in my mind.
4) If you were to describe Chobi Mela to a friend who had never been to Bangladesh before, how would you do so?
It would be a totally new experience. Don’t miss it.
5) Has coming to Chobi Mela changed your perception about Bangladesh?
Yes. Yes of course, I’d love to canoe there again and just walk in the streets and observe the people.
6) What is the one word that best describes Chobi Mela?
It is a friendly festival.
Visit Shadi Ghadirian’s website: www.shadighadirian.com