the aesthetics of indictment
With the all-out cooperation from Dhaka Art Center (DAC), Bangladesh Sammilito Sangskritic Jote, a cultural platform of the progressives, devised an aesthetic intervention tapping the talents of four mainstream artists. The aim was to raise a voice of protest against the war criminals whose crimes against the majority of the Bangladeshi people who demanded independence still haunt the collective consciousness after 39 years.
In the month of March of the current year, one of DAC's studios became the stage for Nisar Hossain, Shishir Bhattacharjee, Sheikh Afzal and Md Muniruzzaman to paint a hundred-and-seven-foot-long mélange of a painting depicting the sinister face of the political Islamists who unquestionably sided with the occupying Pakistani force, during the nine-month-long liberation war that had begun in March 1971.
Each artist plumbed his own form of expression and drew on the collective memory of betrayal and bloodshed.
If Nisar Hossain's take was steeped in metaphor forming an expression that looks the tyranny in the eye, while Shishir Bhattacharjee takes to his signature brand of iconoclastic portrayal of Jinnah, highlighting his perceived villainy, the leader whose two-nation theory is believed to have been instrumental in bringing Pakistan into being.
Sheikh Afzal and Md Muniruzzaman – with their synthesis of realism and illustrational aptitude – cobbled together somewhat similar narrative of the moment of glory – the victory of the Bangalees in December 1971, alongside the depiction of the diabolic force that had tried to derail its course.
Following the month-long effort on the part of the painters, the organizers initiated a day-long programme on April 9th to facilitate public viewing. The work was shown around the city as part of their effort to mobilize public opinion.