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BLKBX, Birmingham Museums Trust and Yas Lime


Dystopia considers the socio-political dimensions of the global pandemic and its after-effects, with a focus on inequalities and injustices. Working in partnership with Birmingham Museums Trust, Nafis Ahmed of BLKBX (Dhaka) and Birmingham-based artist Yas Lime made two films, contrasting their experiences in Dhaka and Birmingham respectively through interdisciplinary new media-art forms.  

Watch: Dystopia by new media project BLKBX. 
SEIZURE WARNING: This video contains flashing lights. Viewer discretion is advised.

Watch: Property of the people of Birmingham by Yas Lime

Artist Statement, 'Dystopia' by Nafis Ahmed of BLKBX:

‘Dystopia’ by new media project BLKBX is a digital abstract artwork that builds on the experiences of people and places of Dhaka during the Covid-19 lockdown. It explores whether the lockdown really created a challenge or brought to surface the problems that Bangladesh has had for the last 5 decades, masked under the global portrayal of economic progress.

"A multitude of disciplines create this synergistic production that plunges the viewer into my take on this dystopian world, sometimes through 3D features, and at times through interactive technologies. A mix of techniques audio-visual features are included but distorted towards a meaning-making process of dystopia. This narrative is created in real-time as a generative audio-reactive piece, and will render different renditions if reproduced even under the same circumstances." 

Bengali artist Nafis Ahmed is the producer of new media project BLKBX. He has an arts management background, is passionate about technology and is inspired by the European club scene and working with digital entertainment products. His current practices focuses on the immersive media using synchronised and interactive storytelling.

Artist Statement, 'Property of the People of Birmingham' by Yas Lime

The film aims to be both unsettling and reassuring at the same time. Part informational video, part live stream and part ‘a making of’, Yas uses archival images, screen recordings, movie clips and footage from nature cams to splice together their thoughts around dystopia. They also include three poems on the topic of freedom, written in response to the current pandemic by members of the Birmingham community.

Yas Lime is increasingly interested in what is seen in verses and what is hidden within the arts – and how this contributes to a dystopian horror experience within the minds and bodies of those who exist within it. They hide and reveal the videos – layering sound, image and text from different sources.

Yas Lime is an artist-curator who lives and works in Birmingham. Their heritage is complex, Pakistani, Yemeni, Turkish Cypriot and Welsh. They are Brown, non-binary and disabled, living with ADHD and depression. They are also working class.

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