We’re very pleased to reveal the artists taking part in our major new international collaboration – Artists Make Space – pairing seven Bangladesh based artists with seven UK based artists to co-create new exploratory works to be showcased in Dhaka, Sylhet, Chittagong, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, and London.
The artists’ specialities span art forms including playwriting, visual art, music, poetry, film and more. Working with Britto Arts Trust and commissioned by the British Council, Tara Theatre will present the final works from the collaboration through a series of bespoke events this autumn and winter.
This project will be led artistically by Tara Theatre’s newest Artistic Associate Natasha Kathi-Chandra.
MEET THE ARTISTS
Tia Ali | UK | London
Tia is a writer and spoken word poet from East London. She is a Soho Lab 2020 alumna, finalist writer for Overhead Podcast competition 2021 (collaboration with NBC Universal, Soho Theatre and StoryHunter), selected for MFest Writers Lab and her screenplays have been long-listed for Pillars Artist Fellowship 2022. She also recently performed her poetry as part of DEEN & DUNYA event at Bush Theatre and will soon perform at Daytimers Mehfil, an event series centring South Asian creative community at RichMix. Her writing is influenced by the chaos of being raised by immigrants whilst finding a way to embrace her Bangladeshi and Muslim heritage
Rakib Anwar | Bangladesh | Dhaka
Rakib is a professional visual artist based in Dhaka. After completing his MFA and BFA from the Department of Drawing and Painting, the University of Dhaka in 2017 and 2014 respectively, Rakib has participated in several art exhibitions and artist residency programs, including the 24th National Art Exhibition 2019, Dhaka. He has also collaborated with contemporary artists and art associations such as Chhobimela 2019, Britto Arts Trust, Brihatta Art Foundation, Dhaka. He won the Kazi Abdul Baset Academy Award in 2017 from the University of Dhaka and Brihatta Home Art Project Grant (Bangladesh) in 2020.
Rakib’s journey of the past four years has been about the people of the metropolitan city, Dhaka and the stories that its inhabitants create while going on with their daily lives. He tends to experiment with contexts, creating work on surfaces such as newspapers, dictionary pages, perhaps old books, as elements to draw upon while taking shelter in the playfulness of perspective and distortion of both figures and the surroundings we live in, narrating the information and experiences he consumes in a semi-comical manner.
Hridita Anisha | Bangladesh | Dhaka
Visual artist & sculpting
A Dhaka based professional visual artist, children’s illustrator, writer and zinemaker. She has completed her BFA (2017) and MFA (2019) from the Faculty of Fine Art of the University of Dhaka. She has been illustrating for children’s magazines and storybooks with publications of Bangla Academy and Ikrimikri for the past two years.
She has also worked as a writer for the communications and publications sector with Dhaka based non-profit art organizations Back ART Foundation and Epiphania Visuals. She is driven by the discord of her city, the wayward lines made by children and dry humour to write and paint. In self-publishing zines Hridita has found a way of connecting her narratives with visuals that subsequently act as an affordable and informal method of reaching out to the community.
Photo by Marina Ghevond
Thahmina Begum | UK | Leeds
Mixed media artist, poet & art psychotherapist
Thahmina Begum lives and works in Beeston, South Leeds. She is a Mixed Media Artist, Poet, and Workshop Facilitator. Begum is currently studying to become an Art Psychotherapist. Her work explores cultures, identities, belonging and British /Bangladeshi/Muslim Diaspora. Begum’s work explores stories, hidden narratives and storytelling through art and art-making. Begum is passionate about making art accessible for all sections of society and the promotion of art to improve our health and wellbeing. She love’s how art gives voices to communities or people that have been silenced.
Begum’s recent work and commissions include working with British Library (Food without Borders 2021-22), Leeds Art Gallery (Advisory Panel) (Shifting Perspectives 2022) Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Concert for Bangladesh,2021), Tetley Gallery (The Colour Pallette,2021), LEEDS 2023 (Sarees and Street Signs 2021 -22) and Yorkshire Sculpture International (Sylhet in my Suitcase, 2021 -22).
Azizee Fawmi Khan | Bangladesh | Dhaka
Visual artist, painting & textiles
A professional visual artist based in Dhaka. After completing her MFA and BFA from the Department of Drawing and Painting, Faculty of Fine Art, the University of Dhaka in 2017 and 2014 respectively, Azizee had her first solo exhibition in 2021, titled Ka’ – Shommondhiyo / Connected Speech.
She has been simultaneously engaging in creating works of art, participating in both national and international art exhibitions and artist residency programs including the 18th Asian Art Biennale, Dhaka 2018. She has also collaborated with contemporary artists and art associations such as the Transforming Narratives Program, Alliance Francaise, EMK Center, Britto Arts Trust, Brihatta Art Foundation, Dhaka and Rebel Creatives, Birmingham, UK.
In retrospect, her journey over the past few years is strongly motivated by her childhood and the lives of her predecessors, the heritage of the land she inhabits and the familiar customs that are passed down from one generation to another.
Mridul Kanti Goshami | Bangladesh | Dhaka
Music & photography
Mridul Kanti Goshami studied a Diploma in Professional Photography Program at Counter Foto – A Center for Visual Arts with a full scholarship in 2020 and did a Master of Music Arts from the Govt. Music College, Dhaka (2014).
He uses images, text, sounds as well as performance to tell his stories. His works have been adopted from the family snapshots he made when he was younger. Mridul’s works focus on Political Violence, Gender Diversity, re-examining history and freedom of speech. He habitually engaged in ecological, racial, human rights movements and collaborates with schools, communities, and cultural organisations. He takes his inspiration from the people he meets in his everyday life, animals, poetry, music and painting.
Mridul was selected for Basar Confluence Artist Residency of their 3rd edition in Basar, Arunachal Pradesh, India funded by Gumin Rego Kilaju in 2018. His works were exhibited and published in India, Bangladesh, Portugal, USA and Canada. He was a finalist for the prestigious Allegro Prize 2021 in Collaboration with British Magazine Contemporary Lynx. His works about Sexual minority lives were nominated for the Bartur Photo Awar in their main category in 2021. He was also a finalist for the Different Images of Men organized by Action Aid Bangladesh, 2020.
His works don’t reference recognisable form. The result is deconstructed to the extent that meaning is shifted and possible interpretations become multifaceted. He currently lives and works in Dhaka.
Emdadul Hoque Topu | Bangladesh | Dhaka
Fine Arts, film, theatre, performance, visual studies & photography
Emdadul’s works are mostly political commitments, motivated by a sense of solidarity to critically evaluate its epistemologies, assumptions, protocols, and knowledge production politics. Emdadul’s research methodologies, art writing, non-fiction filmmaking, photography represent a critical forensic analysis of the postcolonial South Asian cultural phenomenon and the hierarchy of the western colonial system’s knowledge practice.
Emdadul’s work intricates the regional artists, media archives, science, technology, religion and politics, and environmental studies with South Asian cultural history, film and media studies, gender and women studies, art, architecture, and design practice.
Apurba Jahangir | Bangladesh | Dhaka
Musician / Writer
Though a communication consultant by day his heart lies in music. Inspired by the likes of Duke Ellington, Nina Simon to Led Zeppelin and The Beatles, Apurba tries to capture a blend of both in his approach to playing his instruments. He is currently one of the guitar players for Elita Alive and Bramhaputra Bangladesh. Whenever he’s not doing music he tries to write. For over 7 years Apurba has worked as a feature writer for one of the prestigious English dailies of Bangladesh and currently writes for Dainik Azadi as a columnist. A compilation of his column “Footnote” was published at the 2021 Bangladesh Book Fair. Apurba also tries to make films sometimes, but he doesn’t like to talk about it that much. He is currently based in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Rupinder Kaur | Birmingham
Poet, performer, writer
Rupinder is a writer, performer and workshop facilitator. Her work often focuses on womanhood, language and history. Rupinder is further developing her one-woman show Imperfect, Perfect Woman which debuted at Wolverhampton Literature Festival. She has also been a BBC New Creative and developed the audio piece The Girls that Hide and Seek (2021). Her debut poetry book Rooh (2018) was published with Verve Poetry Press. In 2020 Rupinder was awarded DYCP in 2020 from Arts Council England to work on her next poetry collection. Rupinder is the founder of Azaad Arts and co-founder of Gully Collective. She is part of Kali Theatre Discovery program (2021-2022) and India-UK Creative Industries at 75. Currently, Rupinder is working and experimenting between writing, theatre and film.
Ruby Kitching | UK | Surrey
Playwright & journalist
Ruby Kitching is a writer from London who is passionate about bringing fresh perspectives on British and South Asian characters to the stage. Her play, Still Life with Mangos, was longlisted by the BBC Script Room Comedy 2020 and awarded a DYCP Arts Council England grant in 2021 to develop for stage. Her monologue, I never got your recipe, featured in Tamasha Theatre’s 2020 virtual scratch, Made at Home. People fascinate her and she is inspired by everyday life. Born to Bangladeshi parents, she draws on her skills as a journalist, editor, author and songwriter. Ruby has a master’s degree in civil engineering and a career spanning 25 years in the industry.
Abbie Lois | UK | Edinburgh
Multi-disciplinary visual artist
Abbie Lois is a Scottish illustrator and printmaker who seeks to immerse her practice within the intricacies of peoples, cultures and folklore across the world. She is fascinated by traditional spoken and written narratives from across the world, and how these stories quietly and unquestionably shape subsequent generations. Abbie finds her practice particularly drawn towards the role women have and have had in their communities – whether that be in myth, folklore or in the realities of the present day. In addition to this, she often connects her work with nature, finding that the form of the land and seasons in turn shape the way individual and collective lives are lived. The ambition for her work is to re-imagine folk history in a way that makes it accessible to the modern world before it becomes forgotten or discarded.
Monon Muntaka | Bangladesh | Dhaka
Photography, visual artist & activist
Monon Muntaka is a freelance photographer and researcher based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her practice deals with social issues, culture, women, gender and documentation of these in relation. Apart from photography, she takes a keen interest in documentary films and video art. As a visual storyteller, her leading medias are photography, moving images, and audio.
She studied Media Studies and Journalism at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh. Initially, as an art enthusiast, she worked at Dhaka Art Summit and Chobi Mela several times as an artist assistant, mediator, and program coordinator. Her involvement with diverse multi-talented personalities, artists, curators, writers, filmmakers, educators, and scholars played a very stark influence in her life. Monon participated in different exhibitions in Bangladesh such as – KᗩᕼIᑕᕼᗩᒪ exhibition supported by Goethe Institute Bangladesh as part of their Goethe Pop Up Festival 2021, Dhaka OIC Youth Capital 2020-21 Bangabandhu Youth Art Competition: Virtual Exhibition, SheDecides Virtual Gallery 2021, Dui – Synchronized Encounter, Dui is part of a series exhibition, based on Bengali numerals. Each exhibition is tied to a theme through which the artists make a creative journey into the space. The previous exhibition of this series, EK was made mostly on-site. Artists came together to make murals and many showcased their paintings and photographs. The Unheard Voices A Photography Exhibition on Violence Against Women, 2016, VISIBILITY A Photography Exhibition at WILL FEST 2018, Move 4 Women A Photography Exhibition on International Women’s Day, 2019, De | Real exhibition: A curatorial research project in response to the global pandemic, 2020, Her work has been featured at LensCulture in 2020. Her ongoing work on rape has been published on several online platforms such as Inonica, femlens and Al Jazeera. Since 2018, she is regularly working with the Daily Star and NGOs as a freelance photographer.
Rahemur Rahman | UK | London
Visual artist, fashion, arts and crafts and documentaries
An artist looking to redesign, restructure and reprogramme the creative arts. Starting from the death of a piece, the studio upholds its manifesto’s social, ethical, and sustainable aims.
Rahemur is collaborating with artisans in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to decolonise craftsmanship and highlight the subcontinent through producing garments and accessories that blur the lines between gender norms within clothing design. Rahman works with local youth arts organisations in London, UK, intending to close the access gap to creative careers and higher education for young people from marginalised communities. He is also 3 years into a feature-length documentary, following the plight of the Hijra community in Dhaka as they traverse to find love and companionship. Whilst seeking acceptance in a society that doesn’t accept them, they currently only have the support of the trans community they are a part of
Kamilah Ahmed | UK | London
Textile & visual artist
Kamilah’s embroidered and hand wrapped textiles merge contemporary processes with heritage craft techniques to create fresh and elaborate finishes that celebrate making traditions within contemporary interior and fashion contexts. The interdisciplinary approach to her work takes inspiration from Jamdani which combines weaving with hand embroidery simultaneously on the loom.
Drawing on her experience as an Embroidery Designer for European brands such as Christian Dior, Valentino, Attico, Dolce & Gabbana and Mourad whilst working in Italy, Kamilah has equally designed and made embroidery for London based businesses such as McQueen, Victoria Beckham, Ralph & Russo, Alonuko and Annabel’s Members’ Club.
She more recently joined Cockpit Arts, Holborn studios, as the inaugural recipient of The New Craftsmen Award in 2021. A recipient of other awards, including The Worshipful Dyers’ Guild Travel Award enabling her to further research and document the artistry of Jamdani weaving artisans in Pabna, Bangladesh, as well as The Royal Needlemakers’ Bursary and the Monsoon Accessorize Royal College of Art Collaboration Prize during her Masters’ Degree.