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A Story of Now

Kamruzzman Shadhin, Salma Jamal Moushum & Gidree Bawlee Foundation of Arts

এ্যালহাকার কাথা - Elhakar Katha (A Story of Now) is a performance-led participatory artwork created in Thakurgaon, Bangladesh by artist Kamruzzaman Shadhin in collaboration with Gidree Bawlee Foundation of Arts and a large ensemble of performers and musicians of the Dhamer Gaan and Bishohori Pala musical traditions of spiritual theatre, which is performed in open air. 

In Bangladesh this performance tradition is local to the Northwestern districts of Dinajpur, Thakurgaon and Panchagarh and the ranks of both performer and musician are open only to males. 

Chokra performers specialise in portraying the female characters in the repertoire and are rare. Thus, their presence in performances is highly sought after by the region’s many travelling troupes. 

এ্যালহাকারকাথা Elhakar Katha (A Story of Now) follows the traditional Dhamer Gaan and Bishohori Pala forms and uses the formal structure and physical gestures to explore the personal experiences of these performers themselves. This is a new and experimental performative work that traces their own stories as males who, in the generations before fast internet and social media entertainment, have played a key historical role in keeping the cultural fabric of the region knitted together.

With the artistic direction of Kamruzzaman Shadhin, in এ্যালহাকারকাথা Elhakar Katha (A Story of Now) we find a new and entirely surprising work of fluid introspection, movement, and smoothly disrupted time that retains its deep relationships with place, with people and with ancient tradition.

Performers: Hemanta Barman, Nazrul Islam (Modhu), Imon Barman, Narayan Barman, Emdadul Islam (Shonali), Dhiren Ray (Tonmoy), Nayan Barman, Shanto Barman and Amal Tudu

Musicians: Ujjal Barman, Dipen Barman, Suresh Barman, Ananda Barman, Sujan Barman, Sudhir Chandra Barman, Koilash Ray and Nipen

Artistic Direction: Kamruzzaman Shadhin

Curation: Kamruzzaman Shadhin and Salma Jamal Moushum

Image: Kamruzzman Shadhin, Salma Jamal Moushum & Gidree Bawlee Foundation of Arts, এ্যালহাকারকাথা Elhakar Katha (A Story of Now)

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