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Chobi Mela VIII ends

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06th-Feb-2015       
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Sheikh Arif Bulbon :
Chobi Mela VIII, the international festival of photography ended after two eventful weeks for national and international photographers and scholars. This was the eighth edition of Asia’s largest celebration of photography and visual storytelling organised by Drik Picture Library Ltd and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute.
This time, Chobi Mela VIII explored the theme of ‘Intimacy’ with the help of more than 30 artists from across 22 countries.
The artists list included Abdollah Heidari, Alexandra Serrano, Andrea Diefenbach, Antoine Bruy, Anwar Hossain, Arthur Bondar, Cristina Nunez, Denis Dailleus, Dinesh Abiram, Hadi Uddin, Jana Romanova, Jannatul Mawa, Kevin Bubriski, Larry Towell, Laura El- Tantawy, Luis Gonjalez Palma, Mahesh Shantaram, Malcolm Hutcheson, Maria Kapajeva, Max Pinckers, Michel Le Belhomme, Nepal Picture Library (Archive), Paolo Patrizi, Philip Blenkinsop, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Sean Lee, Shirin Neshat, Simon Norfolk, Tapash Paul, Tushikur Rahman and Yusuf Sevincli.
According to the participants and visitors, the eighth edition was more appealing, with lectures, panel discussions, artist talks, gallery walks, workshops and portfolio reviews.
Other than the gallery exhibitions, all the other events ended on January 30 held at Goethe-Institut in two sessions from January 24. At the ending ceremony of January 30, the festival director, Shahidul Alam promised to be back in 2017 with Chobi Mela IX.  
Chobi Mela VIII was inaugurated on January 23 at National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy by the President of Bangladesh, Abdul Hamid.
Chobi Mela VIII honoured legendary photographer of Bangladesh Anwar Hossain with lifetime achievement award for his extraordinary contribution in photography.
The lectures with impact, panel discussions, artist talks, gallery walks, workshops and portfolio reviews of Chobi Mela VIII were streamed live to a global audience. The programmes, along with the inauguration ceremony could be seen in the archive section of chobimela.org/live.  
A total of 32 print shows, a video projection and some art installations were displayed across the city at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Drik, Pathshala South Asia Media Institute, Alliance Francaise, Daily Star-Bengal Arts Precinct, National Museum, Bokultola of Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University, Britto Arts Trust, Beauty Boarding, Northbrook Hall and Bulbul Lalitakala Academy.
The rickshaw-van exhibition, carrying miniature versions of all the exhibits - a trademark of Chobi Mela since its third edition, travelled the streets of Dhaka, taking photography closer to the people.
Venues such as the Bokultola, Bulbul Lalitakala Academy of Fine Arts and Beauty Boarding helped to take photography everywhere and make Chobi Mela more demographically inclusive.
Partners of Chobi Mela VIII were Ministry of Cultural Affairs, American Embassy, Bangladesh National Museum, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and Goethe Institut.  n

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