Gidree Bawlee Foundation of Arts
Gidree Bawlee Foundation of Arts was founded in 2001 as a non-profit and multidisciplinary organization. Situated in Bangladesh’s North Western Thakurgaon district, Gidree Bawlee has created an extraordinary artist residency, where they facilitate cultural and artistic exchange programmes. Through these residencies, the organisation directly engages with the district’s marginalized communities, including one of the area’s oldest indigenous communities, the Santal. With their residency programme and community focused activities, Gidree Bawlee encourages a dialogue of understanding between its participants and the wider communities within the district.
Although Gidree Bawlee’s work focuses on creating artistic exchanges between contemporary artists and Indigenous artists, they also assist the Thakurgaon district’s communities in preserving their culture and improving their relationships with local administration. The group also assists the Santal community in organizing their cultural events, including the annual Shidhu-Kanhu Festival (commemorating the two Santal leaders, Sidhu Murmu and Kanhu Murmu who declared rebellion against British colonists), which is celebrated through a programme of traditional games, dance and theatre performances.