Dhaka Art Summit 2023

February 3, 2023

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.

The word for flood, “Bonna” is also given as a common name for girls in Bangladesh. A flood in Bangladesh does not simply translate into the dominant idea of the word flood carrying a singular connotation of “disaster.” Rather, the DAS concept of Bonna challenges binaries – between necessity and excess, between regeneration and disaster, between adult and child, between male and female. DAS 2023 invokes and interprets Bonna as a complex symbol-system, which is indigenous, personal and at once universal, an embodied non-human reversal of how storms, cyclones, tsunamis, stars, and all environment crises and discoveries are named, allowing Bonna, the young girl, to speak from Bangladesh to the world; she asks why the words for weather are gendered, what the relationship between gender, the built environment, and climate change might be.

DAS is a continually unfolding story imagined by hundreds of contributors, and this edition will include over 120 artists, architects, and writers, over 60% Bangladeshi, and over 50% producing new work for the show.

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