2nd Porapara Performance Art Workshop
Conducted by the Japanese artist, Seiji Shimoda, also Director of NIPAF, an organization out to promote performance art across the globe, 2nd Porapara Performance Art Workshop 2010, March 4 to 7, at Shilpakala Academy, Chittagong, had the participants in the throes of self-discovery. 30 artists representing various generations – among whom there were both reputable and emerging talents – joined the workshop and devised their own way of putting the conceptualized or formalized body to an eloquent use, as is necessary in any performance.
During the three-day workshop, 'the participants tried to rediscover their new selves', to quote Shimoda, the man who whipped up the enthusiasm for the overall mental and physical engagement of each and every participating artist from day one till the end.
The first two days were spent in a creative stupor – artists trying to stretch their imagination to come up with the most significant way to put into the acts their social/political sensibilities, their awareness of their natural surroundings, and most of all, their personalities to formulate the language fit for the purpose.
Earmarked as the day of their final presentation, the evening of March 7,saw participants presenting their acts one by one, each making the optimum use of the four minutes allocated for every performance. Shimoda's ethos around performance was clearly defined: all good performance is deeply embedded in 'the personal history of the performer' – which he refers to as the ultimate backdrop for one to emerge as an artist.
Shimoda was touched by the enthusiasm displayed by his Bangladeshi counterparts. 'I could communicate with them deeply through what they attempted to impart by their performances even though I spent only three days with them,' was the final comment he made in an email back to the organizers – the artists of Porapara Artists' Space based in Chittagong – before Shimoda, the globetrotting performance artist, left Bangladesh.