The British Council Bangladesh Cultural Centre has always been working to create equal opportunities for people with disability. In collaboration with Arham Ul Huq Chowdhury, the Cultural Centre arranged a 14-day fountain exhibition, ‘Duets in Metal and Water’ from 22 February to 7 March 2019, at the British Council office premises at Dhaka University campus.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by H.E. Alison Blake, British High Commissioner in Bangladesh; Andrew Newton, Deputy Director, British Council Bangladesh; Valerie Taylor, Founder, Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP); chairman and directors of famous art galleries and cultural centres, founders and chief-coordinators of organisations who work with the people with disability, artists and freelancers, participants from CRP, strategic partners of the British Council and media representatives.
The exhibition featured a series of scrap metal sculptures by Arham Ul Huq Chowdhury, which are created with leftovers from various CRP-made mobility aids including wheelchairs, stretcher trolleys and crutches. One of the aims of the exhibition is to empower people with disability and to showcase the concealed possibilities of scrap products people throw away as leftovers every day.
Another objective is to boost up the morals of the people who are deemed ‘disable’ by the society, to seek to normalise their differences in the mainstream culture as the sculptured fountains are mostly made with the scraps from the workshop of the CRP in Savar. The aim is to upcycle and bring positive environmental effects of water features.
The ceremony began with an opening speech by H.E. Alison Blake, British High Commissioner to Bangladesh. In her remarks, she shared her excitement to be able to attend the exhibition and greeted Arham for his excellent work. Next, Valerie Taylor presented her introductory speech where she introduced the audiences with the fountains and the thoughts behind creating those. This was followed by a welcome speech by Andrew Newton, Deputy Director, British Council Bangladesh. He shared the views of the British Council about arranging such events and stated how the organisation is working to build cultural diversity in Bangladesh.
The audiences then enjoyed a documentary video prepared at the fountain exhibition. In the footage, Arham shared the details and the background stories of the fountains and how this initiative to create fountains from scrap metal came to life.
The proceeds that have been raised from the fountain exhibition will go to the welfare funds of the CRP.