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Critical Dialogue

A series of critical dialogue events took place in autumn 2021, led by Kalaboration Arts.

These free online events, featuring speakers from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Birmingham, aimed to identify, trace and analyse some of the dominant narratives that have shaped the contemporary artistic and creative endeavours of Pakistani and Bangladeshi artists and creative practitioners, both in Birmingham and in the sub-continent.

Kalaboration Arts is a dynamic Birmingham based arts development agency and its three artistic directors Mukhtar Dar, Ian Sergeant and Bob Ramdhanie have been at the forefront of producing, programming, touring and commissioning the arts and cultures of Asian, African and Caribbean peoples for the benefit of all.

 “By holding up a mirror to society, artists have been at the forefront of envisioning a better, more diverse, and just world for all,” said Mukhtar Dar, Artistic Director, Kalaboration Arts.

Sophina Jagot, Project Director, Transforming Narratives commented, “ Transforming Narratives is very much a platform for  debate and new understanding. These conversations open up new connections and a shared understanding of contemporary art and cultural narratives in Birmingham, Pakistan and Bangladesh going forward.”


Art in the times of the Covid-19 Pandemic 
Sunday 29th August 2021 

How has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted on art and artists in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Birmingham, and in what ways have artists responded to create innovative and referential work that captures this moment in time and engages audiences?

Speakers included Taslima Akhtar, Salma Jamal Moushum, Sameera Rajah, Raabania Shirfeel, Mukhtar Dar and Sebah Chaudhry.


Margins to the Mainstream: Equality and Solidarity in the Arts
Sunday 26 September 2021

What are the challenges facing artists from marginalised communities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Birmingham? How do we create a meaningful dialogue between people who form the majority and the minority, whilst addressing issues of intersectionality? And how do we create empathy and solidarity within and across diverse communities through the arts?

Speakers included Bonna MirzaShahman MoishanTaimur RehmanSaif SamejdShama AskariAftab Rahman and Omar Hanif.

Artistic Freedoms Unchained: Restrictions & Control in the Arts
Sunday 12 December 2021

Is artistic freedom for everyone? In this Critical Conversation, we discuss if artists in Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Birmingham can critique and challenge dominant narratives by questioning the status quo and speaking truth to power, or does the fear of restriction of creative expression lead us to self-censorship and mediocrity?

Speakers included Professor Salima HashmiDr. Shahidul AlamLubna MariumAdeela SulemanAli Aftab SaeedMukhtar Dar and Aftab Rahman.