The ninth edition of Chobi Mela, one of the important photography festival in Asia launches on 3 February 2017. The festival will run until 16th February, 2017. This festival is put together biannually by Drik Picture Library Ltd. and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute. Since its inception in 2000, Chobi Mela has been a significant event in Asia and the first of a regular biennale.
The theme for Chobi Mela IX is ‘Transition’. Curated by ASM Rezaur Rahman, Mahbubur Rahman, Munem Wasif, Tanzim Wahab along with festival director Shahidul Alam, the ninth edition of the festival will be more compact, with all venues situated in South Dhaka. Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy will be the main venue along with venues in Old Dhaka. Pathshala South Asian Media Institute is the educational venue where workshops, portfolio reviews and some of the artist talks will also be held.
The festival will feature over 30 exhibitions with work from 27 artists spanning 16 countries. Among them will be Kanu’s Gandhi, historic photographs of Mahatma Gandhi by his grand-nephew, The Poet with The Camera by Bangladesh’s master portraitist Nasir Ali Mamun, Native Women of South India: Manners and Customs (2000-2004) by the Indian political satirist Pushpamala N., United Red Army, an abstract film unravelling a historic hijacking by Naeem Mohaiemen, and Open Wound the epic documentation of Chechen resistance by Stanley Greene. Chobi Mela IX is also commissioning ten Bangladeshi artists as Chobi Mela Fellows to produce site-specific artwork for the festival.
To investigate the theme ‘Transition’, artists from different backgrounds of painting, drawing, animation, sculpture, photography, video, sound and installation will stretch the medium physically and conceptually. Through this novel initiative, Chobi Mela aims to support new media artists of Bangladesh to develop independent projects with freedom rarely provided in formal art events.
The festival hosts workshops by photo practitioners from all around the world. This includes a workshop entitled ‘Instincts’ by Swedish photographer Anders Petersen, noted for his intimate and personal documentary-style black-and-white photographs. Workshops by Boris Eldagsen, Donald Weber and Rishi Singhal will also provide participants with invaluable training and exposure. The Photobook Masterclass, a bookmaking workshop by German curator Markus Schaden and Frederic Lezmi successfully culminated on January 18 at Pathshala South Asian Media Institute with participants making their own photobooks. Working Internationally: Strategies and Methodologies, a workshop by Shahidul Alam, Shafiqul Alam and Abir Abdullah was conducted for reporters and photojournalist on January 19.
Chobi Mela IX also brings an exciting list of events. Artist’s talks, panel discussions and curated slideshows will be organised around the theme ‘Transition’. The panel discussion “Challenges of working as a freelance photojournalist” by Shahidul Alam, Tahmina Rahman and moderated by Mary O’ Shea will be a highlight for young and upcoming freelance photojournalists. The festival is free and open to the public.
Chobi Mela IX International Festival of Photography in Bangladesh
February 3 to 16, 2017
Rd No. 8A