Lighting the Fire of Freedom: Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: CRI’s tribute to the father of the nation

Dhaka Art Summit 2020, initiated by Samdani Art Foundation with support from the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, was held at the Shilpakala Academy from February 7 to 15. More than five hundred artists, sculptors, curators, critics, collectors, architects and art professionals from different countries including Bangladesh participated in the grand event of contemporary art. Live events including artistic performances and panel discussions were simultaneously underway at the extravaganza.

A unique feature of this year’s summit was the exhibition called Lighting the Fire of Freedom: Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman which payed the richest tribute to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, marking his birth centenary. It was an initiative of the Centre for Research and Information (CRI) in partnership with Samdani Art Foundation and ICT Division of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. The exhibition treasures historic moments, dating back to the Bengal Presidency under the British Raj to the East Pakistan regime and finally the formation of Bangladesh – a democratic independent nation.

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The special exhibition offers intimate and lesser known details about the illustrious life of Bangabandhu. It narrates the journey of the father of the nation chronologically through a rich variety of archival and contemporary materials, including artworks, personal photographs, newspapers, videos, a visual projection of his historic 7th March speech and digital books.

The exhibition drew huge attention of art enthusiasts both local and foreign. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with her sister Sheikh Rehana and daughter Saima Wazed visited the exhibition at the National Art Gallery of Shilpakala Academy. The two daughters of Bangabandhu became very emotional and embraced each other after listening to the historic March 7 speech which was displayed in the exhibition. Grandson of Bangabandhu and CRI’ trustee Radwan Mujib Siddiq visited the summit several times to appreciate the exhibition and other art installations.

State Minister and CRI’s trustee Nasrul Hamid, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, Deputy Minister of Education Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury and MP Waseqa Ayesha Khan were among the visitors.

CRI-Young Bangla’s vibrant presence was felt throughout the summit. Young Bangla placed a number of Art mediators to guide visitors.

Though the summit ended, the exhibition will remain open for all till March 31.

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