Dhaka Art Summit 2023
The Dhaka Art Summit (DAS), an international, non-commercial research and exhibition platform for art and architecture related to South Asia, takes place from 3 to 11 February 2023 at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Helmed by chief curator Diana Campbell, the 6th edition “বন্যা/Bonna,” which is the Bengali word for “flood,” explores the influences of climate in forming history, culture, and identity.
DAS 2023 proposes to listen to the lands and waters of Bangladesh and its people to tell stories and imagine futures where people listen to the planet and non-human intelligences. DAS 2023 is about the power of water and the double paradox of how floods and their impact may be (mis)understood. Bonna also concerns the power of translation – how do Bangladeshi understandings of life challenge those who might have only understood the flood and its manifestations as a mistranslation and for those now experiencing similar climatic challenges.
International participation and South Asia collaborations
DAS 2023 includes over 120 artists, architects, and writers, over 60% Bangladeshi, and over 50% producing new work for the show. Bonna is the 5th chapter under the Artistic Direction of Chief Curator Diana Campbell and is complemented by a series of intersecting exhibitions, including Samdani Art Award curated by Anne Barlow (Director, Tate St. Ives) and the special co-production called Very Small Feelings between Samdani Art Foundation (organisers of DAS) and the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) in New Delhi.
This co-production will travel to KNMA in July 2023 as part of the institution’s Young Artists of our Times initiative. It is the first time that two major contemporary art institutions from South Asia are collaborating on this scale and committing to develop this exhibition into a platform to highlight the works of younger artists' voices, under-represented art historical narratives from both Bangladesh and India.
Such extensive facilitation and exchange between contemporary artists through exhibition-making, bookmaking, co-commissioning and loaning of artworks between Bangladesh and India is unprecedented, and there is the ambition to continue and multiply this exchange beyond 2023.
Image: Children of the puppet theatre group of the Gidree Bawlee Foundation for the Arts. Produced by the Gidree Bawlee Foundation for the Arts. Commissioned by the Samdani Art Foundation and Kiran Nadar Museum for Dhaka Art Summit 2023 and World Weather Network. Photograph: Giidree Bawlee