Subtitled Bonna – both the word for ‘flood’ and a girl’s name in Bengali – the sixth edition of the Dhaka Art Summit brings together a diverse array of over 160 artists and collectives, including the Brazilian artist Lucas Arruda, to explore Bangladesh’s nuanced relationship to words and water. The event, which is biennial and free to the public, this year is taking place from February 3 to 11.
The Dhaka Art Summit (DAS) is an international, non-commercial research and exhibition platform for art and architecture related to South Asia. With a core focus on Bangladesh, DAS re-examines how we think about these forms of art in both a regional and an international context. Founded in 2012 by the Samdani Art Foundation — which continues to produce the festival — in collaboration with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, DAS is hosted every two years at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Following the fifth edition subtitled Seismic Movements which welcomed nearly 500,000 visitors in nine days in February 2020, its sixth edition is the first edition with a Bangla subtitle; বন্যা/Bonna.
DAS 2023 proposes to listen to the lands and waters of Bangladesh and its people to tell stories and imagine futures where people regard what the planet and non-human intelligences have to say, as opposed to the clock or the calendar. 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. By extension, the Bangladeshi artist and researcher Shawon Akand expands upon mud as a metaphor for the adaptive power of Bengalis; mud can be hard as stone when baked under the summer sun, a fertile bed for crops during the harvest season, and liquid during the monsoon, all without losing its essence.
Read more about it and check out all participating artists and the curatorial team here.
“Dhaka Art Summit 2023″, featuring Lucas Arruda
From February 3 to 11, 2023
Curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt
National Art Gallery, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy
14/3 Segun Bagicha Rd, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh
Every day, from 10am to 8pm