“…the first of a regular biennale, one that has become one of the highlights of the Asian calendar."
Chobi Mela, the international festival of photography since its inception in 2000 has been the most significant photographic event in Asia, and the first of a regular biennale, that has become one of the highlights of the Asian calendar. It is organised by Drik Picture Library Ltd. and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute. The zero / শূন্য edition of Chobi Mela will be held from 12 -21 February, 2021.
For this edition, the festival plans to reinvent itself in the post Covid environment by engaging more digital content and multidisciplinary practices, integrating the physical with digital, and inviting the overlap of the spaces in-between.
In Bangla, ‘Shunno’ is both a word and number- an empty space, vacuum, black circle or zero vector, which starts and ends at the same place. With this special edition – Shunno (O), Chobi Mela raises essential questions about its own purpose. Shunno can be an amorphous infinite space, or a home that runs parallel with all others. Shunno is a pure matter-energy in philosophy, detached from a troubled force. After completing ten editions in two decades, Chobi Mela mounts a self-reflective edition, to rethink its relevance and ways of being in a global pandemic world. Is art in any way relevant any more to a time of endless loss of life and livelihood?
Chobi Mela (O) invites artists and curators to create a space that will be a testimony to present time. This edition focuses on its home and the neighbourhood, South Asia at large, to find how regional artists and curators devise collective actions in overly divisive spaces. How art attempts to surmount the limits of present-day democracies with diversity, at a moment when citizens understand that states, left in the hands of exploitative forces, have failed in protecting their rights. How can we bring ‘performative democracy’ to the present time – so we can understand its value and experience its intensity in an art space? Read more
Chobi Mela mounts a special edition, “Shunno”, to create a space for artists, thinkers, healers, activists, and visionaries in self-reflective, experimental processes; to assemble and disassemble, to navigate a web of communities, relationships, and collaborations.
"...spontaneous actions of critical citizenship and offer an emancipatory experience with an array of materials – photography narratives, mixed-media, archival documents, live performance – sensorial and articulate, intuitive and conceptual, testing and pushing the boundaries as a form of happening..."
Photograph by Ronny Sen
WATCH, LISTEN, READ
Eighteen years is a long time, measured by tectonic changes in what is expected, accepted, or challenged in photography. Steve McCurry’s “Afghan girl” (1984) might still be taken today, but the audience would immediately raise questions of exotification and instrumentalisation. The subject of the western gaze is no longer “willing,” and is shooting back, with… Read More »What was Chobi Meta and What Happens NextRead More >>
A collaboration between Pathshala South Asian Media Institute and the VII Academy. A nine month mentorship program by the VII Academy and Pathshala South Asia Media Institute for emerging photographers from the region of South Asia. Research plays a critical role in photographic practice and is especially important while doing personal, intimate, and investigative works.… Read More »OPEN CALL: New Waves of Documentary, Practice as ResearchRead More >>
Shaheen Dill-Riaz studied at the Freie Universität Berlin History of Art and subsequently Cinematography at the Filmuniversität Babelsberg. He works often in various roles, as a writer, story consultant and producer, besides his core profession of direction and cinematography. To listen to podcast of Shaheen Dill-Riaz and Nurul Alam Atique please click here. জীবন জলে বেলে Sand and Water… Read More »Shaheen Dill-Riaz’s films are available onlineRead More >>
Nurul Alam Atique is a film-maker, script writer and dramatist based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Through the past two decades, Atique has created a unique style of storytelling that involves intimate human concepts. To listen to podcast of Shaheen Dill-Riaz and Nurul Alam Atique please click here. চতুর্থ মাত্রা/ Choturtha Matra (2001) 1:27 minShot in 2000Original… Read More »Nurul Alam Atique’s films are available onlineRead More >>
Announcing Chobi Mela Artist Talk: Aishwayra Arumbakkam (India) Bunu Dhungana (Nepal) Nida Mehboob (Pakistan) Moderated by Sarker Protick Date: 15/02/21 Time: 05:00 p.m. BSTZoom Invitation – https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86572569294?pwd=T1RnQmtyOVVDcjF0MlNjK3h0aFJnZz09Meeting ID: 865 7256 9294Passcode: 407091Read More >>
The Zero edition of Chobi Mela is committed to operating as a safe space which is inclusive and supportive in which no forms of discrimination are tolerated. Core principles which its initiators, Drik and Pathshala abide by, involves creating a respectful and fear-free environment for people of all genders, race, class, religion, ethnicity and sexuality.… Read More »No to Harassment!Read More >>
We are delighted to announce that Chobi Mela will mount a special edition, “Shunno”, to create a space for artists, thinkers, healers, activists, and visionaries in self-reflective, experimental processes; to assemble and disassemble, to navigate a web of communities, relationships, and collaborations. Chobi Mela Shunno / শূন্য12-21 February 2021 This year Chobi Mela Shunno / শূন্য /… Read More »Secretariat update- Chobi Mela 2021Read More >>
Chobi Mela, Asia’s largest celebration of photography and visual storytelling brought to you by Drik Picture Library Ltd. and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, is back for the 8th time, and is bigger than ever as it plans to saturate Dhaka, Bangladesh for two weeks with stories untold and unseen, stories that stir nostalgia, stories that titillate, and stories… Read More »Introduction-secretariat updateRead More >>