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.
“Disappearing Roots” talks about displacement in the hill tracts of Bangladesh. 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. A ‘chair’, symbolic representation of throne travels around the communities, at times the chair sits alone in the landscape, which is constantly under threat by the majority. Through sound, photographs, 3D model and video, the work emphasizes on capturing the remaining traces of the ancient ways of life, highlighting the violence of gentrification. This project was co-funded by the British Council and Prince Claus Fund.
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 loves 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.
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 one of the visiting artists in the Fellowship Program at Harvard University in 2018.