DISCOVERING A STRANGE TOOL : Beltola Art Camp, Bangladesh
Beltola Art Camp, January 2011
No one asked Rahima what she wanted to be when she grew up. She was genuinely baffled when we asked her, and what was more baffling to her was that we asked to draw this very dream. Like the rest of the kids in Beltola Informal Settlement, crayons and brushes are stuff dreams are made of. Indeed a strange phenomenon to them is this very notion of painting. With the explicit aim of bringing joy to this kids, we hosted this event in situ, in their one-room makeshift school. Locally organized and participated by 36 children, the event was learning for us more that it was for them. We discovered the nascent talents of articulation through artistic means existing a priori in the kids even though they never had a painting class before. Strong colors, contemporary composition—there was an organic formation of these ideas in their minds. Art became a tool of activism—of reorganization as deep desires and previously unconscious aspirations found a medium of materialization.
An upcoming event is being organized after 6 years to track this kids, now in their teens and to document how far or close they have come to materialize what they wanted to become, even for a brief moment in this art camp.
Collaborators (2012): Sanjana Ahmed, Moinak Ahmed, Asif Imtiaz, Biplob Hossain, Tanzil Shafique and Residents of Beltola Informal Settlement, Dhaka, Bangladesh