Incorporating the input and expertise of the Samdani Research Fellows, the Talks Programme for DAS 2018 begins on the Summit’s opening weekend, with a talk exploring decolonisation in South Asian institutions and a history of unconventional patronage in South Asia. Focused on the theme of re-orienting how the world considers South Asia and how South Asia presents itself to the world, the programme will kick off with a conversation about how directors at leading international institutions in North America, Europe, and Asia are reconsidering their collecting and programming to include art from South Asia. The Talks Programme continues on throughout the week, culminating with the scholars’ weekend that will entail a rich series of talks considering the history of exchange between Bangladesh, Southeast Asia, and East Asia, attempting to chart new paths for dynamic forms of inter-Asian collaboration. A highlight of the talks programme is a keynote lecture by leading Bengali public intellectual Dr. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.
Art historians and curators discussed the past, present, and possible future for inter-Asia artistic exchange and the steps necessary to revive these vibrant transnational histories.
Rustom Bharucha (JNU, New Delhi), Suman Gopinath (Independent Curator), Johnson Chang (West Heavens Project Founder, co-founder Asia Art Archive), Yin Ker (NTU Singapore), Syed Jahangir (formerly director of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy), moderated by Mark Rappolt (ArtReview).
DECOLONISING AND BUILDING ART INSTITUTIONS IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH
Art professionals from Bangladesh, Senegal, Chile, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka discussed diverse forms of institution building that are innovated from local needs and how they build local expertise to protect and drive forward art (historical) discourse.
Kazi Khaleed Ashraf (Director-General, Bengal Institute of Architecture, Landscapes and Settlements), Cosmin Costinas (Executive Director, Para Site, Hong Kong); Koyo Kouoh (Founding Director, RAW Material Company, Dakar), Jeannette Plaut (Founder, Constructo, Santiago), Zoe Butt (Director, The Factory, Ho Chi Minh City), Sharmini Pereira (Founder, Raking Leaves, Colombo), moderated by Diana Campbell Betancourt (Samdani Art Foundation).
RISING OCEANS AND CONFLICT: FROM BANGLADESH TO PLANETARY SCALE
Organised by TBA21–Academy and INTERPRT, this panel brought together artists, curators, and scientists to locate Bangladesh and the rising waters of the world’s oceans within the global crisis of Climate Change, by employing tools of Forensic Architecture.
Nabhil Ahmed (), Stefanie Hessler (
REORIENTING COLLECTIONS AND RETHINKING THE CANON
Museum directors from large-scale international art institutions in the UK, Europe, USA, and Asia discussed how their museums are reorienting their programming and collections to include art from South Asia.
Glenn Lowry (Director, Museum of Modern Art, New York), Frances Morris (Director, Tate Modern), Doryun Chong (Deputy Director, M+, Hong Kong), Sebastian Cichocki (Deputy Director, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw) moderated by Sabih Ahmed (Senior Researcher, Asia Art Archive)
TRANSNATIONAL ART AND ARCHITECTURE HISTORIES ROOTED IN BANGLADESH
Art historians and family members discussed the importance of international exchange and transnational networks and encounters that include Bangladesh in the work of Muzharul Islam and Louis Kahn, Novera Ahmed, Sahid Sajjad, Mohammad Kibria, and Pacita Abad.
Martino Sterli (Chief Curator of Architecture, the Museum of Modern Art, New York), Mustafa Zaman (Art Historian), Nurur Khan (Architect and Architecture Historian), Mariah Lookman (Artist and Art Historian), Juneer Kibria (artist), and Jack Garrity (Fundacion Pacita Center for the Arts), moderated by Diana Campbell Betancourt (Samdani Art Foundation)
CAN ALL ART BE PUBLIC?
A discussion between curators Helen Pheby (Senior Curator, Yorkshire Sculpture Park), Alexie Glass Kantor (Director, Artspace Sydney) and artists Sheelasha Rajbhandari, Hitman Gurung and Munem Wasif about how to rethink audience engagement beyond traditional formats, moderated by Sally Tallant (Director, Liverpool Biennial).
FURTHERING NON-WESTERN NARRATIVES FROM WITHIN THE INSTITUTION
Leading curators of contemporary art and architecture discussed their recent and upcoming work which challenges and furthers international understanding of art outside of the Western canon or international art fair circuits, speaking of the ethics and responsibility of engaging locally and internationally in increasingly nationalistic times.
Shanay Jhaveri (Assistant Curator, Metropolitan Museum of Art), Sean Anderson (Associate Curator, the Museum of Modern Art), Tarun Nagesh (Associate Curator, QAGOMA), Polly Staple (Director, Chisenhale Gallery), moderated by Devika Singh (University of Cambridge)
FOUR GENERATIONS OF FEMALE ARTISTS IN BANGLADESH (IN BANGLA)
The Art History of Bangladesh, and indeed the rest of the world, is written on male centric narratives. This panel brings together artists and art historians to discuss the artistic contributions and legacy of figures such as Novera Ahmed (via the scholarship of Rezaul Karim Sumon), Kanak Chanpa Chakma, Rokeya Sultana and Farzana Ahmed Urmi, moderated by Joya Shahrin Huq.
ARTIST AS ACTIVIST (IN BANGLA)
“Art is about those who have the courage to use bits of reality to get us to see reality in light of a new reality”. (Cornel West) This panel brings together some of the bravest voices in Bangladesh using art as a vehicle driving towards social justice, including Shahidul Alam (artist and founder of Drik/Pathshala), Khushi Kabir (activist and chair of Britto Art Trust Board), Reetu Sattar (artist), moderated by Nabil Rahman (artist).
THE HISTORY OF INSTALLATION ART IN BANGLADESH (IN BANGLA)
Leading Bangladeshi artists discuss their practice and the influence, historical journey and evolution of installation art in Bangladesh. Panelists include Hamiduzzaman Khan, Kalidas Karmakar and Kamruzzaman Shadhin, moderated by art critic Mustafa Zaman.
HISTORY OF COLLECTIVES IN BANGLADESH (IN BANGLA)
Beyond the gallery scene in Bangladesh, artist led collectives create an
alternative platform to explore new ideas. The founders/representatives of different collectives around Bangladesh discuss the formation of various collectives of past and present and their influence in the art scene. The panelists include Shawon Akand, and Kabir Ahmed Masum Chisty, moderated by Shaela Sharmin.
MOBILITY AND BANGLADESHI ART (IN BANGLA)
The mobility of art and culture plays an important role in the evolution of any art scene. Bangladeshi artists who spent a significant time of their artistic life abroad share their experience and the legacy of artistic exchange between Bangladesh and the world. The panel will include Shahid Kabir, Dr. Mohammad Iqbal, Ayesha Sultana, moderated by art critic Mustafa Zaman.
BEYOND THE STEREOTYPES OF BANGLADESHI ART
Rasel Chowdhury, Nazia Andaleeb Preema, Zihan Karim and Munem Wasif, artists whose work is rooted in, but not limited to, the concerns of Bangladesh spoke about maintaining artistic autonomy and moving beyond stereotypes often ascribed to Bangladeshi and South Asian Art. The panel was moderated by Abhijan Gupta.
WRITING RECENT EXHIBITION HISTORIES OF LARGE SCALE RECURRING EXHIBITIONS IN SOUTH ASIA
With the post 2012 biennale proliferation in South Asia, this panel draws together art critics from the region to discuss how to consider and write these recent exhibition histories. Jyoti Dhar (Art Critic, Sri Lanka), Rattanamol Singh Johal (C-MAP Fellow for Asia, MoMA), Kurchi Dasgupta (Art Critic, Nepal), and Mustafa Zaman (Artist and Art Critic, Bangladesh)
CLOSING KEYNOTE LECTURE BY DR GAYATRI CHAKRAVORTY SPIVAK
Dr Spivak’s presentation addressed the precarious situation of the Rohingya people in relation to Indigeneity in the world today, with a special emphasis on the languages of the Bengal region. Rohingya are stateless people who are Indigenous to nowhere, and who speak a different language from Bengali; Spivak connected their current situation to the history of the region.