In November 2018, research grants were offered to cultural organisations and individuals wishing to undertake research in Birmingham, Pakistan or Bangladesh.
The selected applicants began their R&D programmes in spring 2019, including visits from Birmingham organisations to Bangladesh and Pakistan, and a curated visit of organisations from Bangladesh and Pakistan to Birmingham. Together they will lay strong foundations for artistic projects that could take place between 2019-2021 involving partners in Birmingham/UK, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
You can read about some of these visits below:
- Mohammed Ali went to Bangladesh, where he used the painting of the mural to draw people in and find connections. Read more...
- Aftab Rahman visited Bangladesh, to explore the theme of 'Waterways', a heritage shared by both Birmingham and Bangladesh. Read more...
Linzi Stauvers from IKON Gallery visited Lahore in Pakistan, to visit contemporary artists and curators releavant to the Ikon Programme.
During March 2019, Masuma Khwaja from I Am Karachi visited Birmingham, with a view to inviting a Birmingham-based artist of Bangladeshi origin to Pakistan for research and participation as part of a public art festival titled “Postcode” in Karachi.
- Lynette Dakin & Ruth Harvey from Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Artist Manjeet Mann, visited Bangladesh in April 2019 as part of the R&D for the Who Run The World audio theatre project.
- Marvi Mazhar and Marium Hanif from Pakistan Chowk Community Centre visited Birmingham in March 2019, to collaborate with Legacy West Midlands and Sampad to exchange methology and frameworks on community outreach.
- Sonia Sabri and Musical Director and Co-founder of SSCo Sarvar Sabri conducted a 14 day visit to Bangladesh, forging links to inform R&D and build meaningful relationships for the longer term.
- Aniqa Iqbal and Hiba Ali from the Citizen's Archive of Pakistan visited Birmingham in March 2019 with the aim of furthering CAP's legacy of community engagement by helping Transforming Narratives to create greater interest in, and deeper engagement with, contemporary arts by the South Asian community in Birmingham.
Kalaboration directors Mukhtar Dar and Bob Ramdhanie visited Pakistan, as part of their collaboration with community arts space Peace Niche/T2F in Karachi. Following this, artists from Peace Niche performed Sigh of the Musaafir at Birmingham Repertory Theatre as part of the Transforming Narratives launch weekend in March 2019.
Maryam Wahid will visit Pakistan in May 2019, where she will develop new photography work through conversations and exchanges with women in Pakistan, artists and community members.
Dipa Mahbuba Yasmin and Akramul Momen from Epiphania Visuals in Dhaka came to Birmingham in March 2019, looking to collaborate with artists and organisations working on themes of religious fundamentalism, social and political crisis, marginal sexuality and gender discrimination.
Deborah Kermode from mac and Sooree Pillay from Sampad both visited Bangladesh in May 2019, to establish relationships with artists and organisations, and reciprocal exchange of contemporary cultural practices.
Electronic music producer Dr Shayekh Mohammed Arif from Dhaka and vocalist/flutist Ifti Chowdhury, from Dhaka/New York, performed at Bangladesh To Birmingham at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, as part of the Transforming Narratives launch weekend in March 2019.
Bengali artist Nafis Ahmed visited Birmingham to collaborate with the new generation of Bangladeshi-Birmingham musicians, learning about their culture and laying foundations for a future live music & multimedia project.
Delegates from the following arts organisations in Pakistan and Bangladesh also visited Birmingham in March & April 2019, to explore the City's cultural landscape, and start to build relationships with UK partners on which to build future collaborations: Bengal Arts Foundation, Britto Arts Foundation, Independent Curator Shezhad Chawdhury, Faiz Foundation, Jothashilpa, Olomopolo Media, National Academy of Performing Arts, Tehrik-E-Niswan, Uronto Arts Exchange and The Walled City of Lahore.
Further Open Calls will be held later in the project, please sign up for the Transforming Narratives newsletter or follow us on social media to find out when these are announced.