THE QUEST FOR ACHINPUR
CRACK International Art Camp 2012
Last year Bangladesh saw a number of art camps dispersed across the country, which may appear as an effort in decentralizing the capital-based art activities, at least in a transitory form. CRACK, a non-profit based in Kushtia (a south-western district of Bangladesh), has been organizing art camps since 2007 in a village environment to promote site-specific installation and performance. This time around, as part of their International Art Camp 2012, which the 6th edition of their initiative, they managed to hold a multi-disciplinary environmental art residency with thirty artists, writers, theatre and cultural activists from five different South Asian countries as participants. It was a site where the exponents of dialogic art converged to create projects to elicit meaning in line with the concept of 'Achinpur', an unconscious locus in the South Asian context, the thematic around which the workshop was planned and executed.
Held between December 25th and 30th, at Smaran Matshya Beej Khamar in the village Rahimpur, Kushtia, the five-day long event saw participation of creative exponents from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. With contemporary art discourses as their guiding spirit, the participants produced multi-disciplinary art projects including environmental Installation, performance, sound and video installation.
An initiative of some young activists from divergent cultural fields in Bangladesh, the CRACK art camp was launched in 2007 with the leadership of Artist Shawon Akand in association with artist Delowar Hossain in Kushtia. Since the beginning, their praxis has been premised on relationality and progress through dialogues.
Curated by Satadru Savon Bhanduri (India) and Shawon Akand (Bangladesh), the 6th edition of the Art Camp examined the trope 'Achinpur' (unknown place, in literal translation) which recurs in Baul song and Baul philosophy of Bengal. A culturally-philosophically loaded term as Achinpur begets a plethora of questions: Where is that place? What is the structure of such an unknown and unknowable locus; and what is the nature of this terrain?
These issues as well as what Sigmund Freud had once mentioned as 'unconscious', guided the participants as each set out to form one's own response to the conundrum called Achinpur.
- DEPART DESK