‘Rivers of the World’ is the British Council’s flagship Arts and Education project delivered in partnership with the Thames Festival Trust. It provides opportunities and resources for teachers and pupils to learn, through a cross-curricular approach, about their local river environment and to compare this to other rivers in cities around the world. By exploring and reflecting on local and global issues, students in Bangladesh gain an international outlook and build the skills they need for life and work in an increasingly interconnected global society.
As part of the ‘Rivers of the World’ project, six Bangladeshi schools partnered with the UK schools and worked on rivers in the UK. The British Council organised a six-day long art workshop with these schools from 9 to 14 June 2016 which was led by one prominent UK artist Mr Richard Crooks.
Total 100 students participated in this workshop and they worked on River Thames, River Frome, River Wye and River Rother and finally produced six high-quality digital artworks. During the workshop days, the students got the opportunity to discuss the source and the growth of the rivers, their geographic advantages, the richness of the wildlife, flora and fauna, local architecture, the cultural life of the surrounding cities, etc. Also, they had the chance to know about the creative works of some world famous artists like William Morris, Henri Matisse.
“The art workshop was very innovative for our school. It was an opportunity for my students to exercise their creativity. Before this project, we never really wondered about how to motivate our students to explore their imagination and creative thinking,” said Khodeza Begum, Teacher of Alhaj Anowara Begum High School, Chittagong, Bangladesh at the workshop.
Each school has been given a certificate of participation and the previous year’s catalogue which also includes artworks done by them last year. Through the art workshop, students could explore the excitement of learning outside the classroom, in collaboration with the UK school partnerships.
Last year, they produced six artworks based on one Bangladeshi river, River Karnaphuli and the artworks were displayed as part of the Totally Thames Festival at Southbank, London. Also, this year’s artwork is going to be displayed in the Totally Thames Festival in September 2016 in Southbank, London.