Tuesday 14 May 2019

In commemoration with the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, the British Council is arranging a solo exhibition titled “Disappearing Roots” by Samsul Alam Helal from May 18, 2019, to May 30, 2019, at the British Council Bangladesh Fuller Road premises.

The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is a United Nations-sanctioned international holiday for the promotion of diversity issues. It is currently held on May 21. The day provides people with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to advance the four goals of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

The work of ‘Disappearing Roots’ focuses on the displacement in the hill tracts of Bangladesh and features the remaining traces of the ancient ways of life and highlights the violence of gentrification. The Kaptai dam was built in 1962 as a hydropower source, and it produces about 5% of the total electricity consumed by Bangladesh. People were displaced as a result of it. The palace of the Chakma king is also buried deep in the lake. The palace is part of the exhibition, along with a 'chair', the symbolic representation of the throne that travels around communities.

Through sound, photographs, 3D model and video, the work emphasizes on to capture the remaining traces of the ancient ways of life, highlighting the violence of gentrification.

Moreover, Samsul Alam Helal is a freelance visual artist based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He completed his graduation in photography from Pathshala South Asian Media Institute. Helal love to make fiction to question the reality. His aim is to go beyond the socio-cultural and political issues which are primary interests. He explores identity, dreams, longings and plays with the psychological realm of these issues to understand the deeper marks it creates. In his recent practice, he does photography, video, and installation. Helal’s work represents reality in an alternate space.

In addition, Helal was one of the winners of The World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass in 2016 and participated in various group shows Kunsthalle Zurich, Speak Local 2017, Colombo Art Biennale 2016, Dhaka Art Summit 2016, Chobi Mela Photo festival 2012, Bronx Museum, New York 2015, etc. Helal was also one of the visiting artists in the Fellowship Program at Harvard University in 2018.

The ceremony will be inaugurated on 18 May 2019, in the presence of the Samsul Alam Helal, other renowned personalities working for the cause will be present in the inauguration ceremony.

Notes to Editor

For further information please contact:

Arshia Aziz, Director Marketing, British Council Bangladesh

Email: Arshia.aziz@bd.britishcouncil.org

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 65 million people directly and 731 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government. For further information, please visit  www.britishcouncil.org