Countdown to Transforming Narratives Mela & Symposium

Your chance to register for contemporary and and culture celebration.

The countdown has begun to the Transforming Narratives Mela & Symposium and there is still time to register for the free festival.

The Transforming Narratives Mela & Symposium is a three day celebration of contemporary arts and culture in Birmingham, Pakistan and Bangladesh taking place 19th–21th March 10am–4pm GMT/3–9pm PKT/4–10pm BDT. For the full programme and to register visit Transforming Narratives.

The Mela & Symposium, part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival, will feature artists and cultural organisations from Birmingham, Bangladesh and Pakistan, including new artistic work, the programme will include:
• Shehzad Chowdhury, BD, & Mahtab Hussain, UK – Dear… Kindest (2-channel video)
• Ahsan Bari, PK & Sheikh Dina, BD – Dhaka Say Karachi, Chapter 2 (short film, music)
• Mukhtar Dar, UK & Arieb Azhar, PK – Mast Qalandar Dancehall & Songs of Solitude (short film, music)
• Fateha Begum & Sudip Chakroborthy, UK, BD – Tik-Talk / Kotha Kaw (Tik Toks)
• Tahia Farhin Haque, BD, Shaheen K. Ahmed, UK & Saba Khan, PK – The Fabric Under My Skin (photography)
• Adam Lewis Jacob, UK, ইদ্রিস Idrish (short film)
• Rinkoo Barpaga, UK, Double Discrimination (short film)
• Arfun Ahmed, BD, Bhati-Scape (audio works)
• Kamruzzman Shadhin, Salma Jamal Moushum and Gidree Bawlee Foundation of Arts, BD, এ্যালহাকার কাথা Elhakar Katha (short film)
• Half Moon Collective, UK, BD, PK, Tales of a Walk (experimental video and electronic sound)
• Maryam Wahid, UK, Zaibunnisa (exhibition)
• Shallum Xavier, Labik Kamal Gaurob, Armeen Musa, Alycia Dias, Jenaan Hussain, Abdul Rafay, Ghaffar Ghani, Shariyar Rahman Sakib and Lisa Kim Candara, PK, BD, Chal Dye (musical short)
• Nafis Ahmed and Yas Lime, BD, UK, Dystopia and Property of the People of Birmingham (experimental video)
• Sara Mia, UK, Emergency Jaruri জরুরী (digital exhibition)

Artist, curator and Festival contributor Sara Mia said: “I am pleased that the Emergency Jaruri জরুরী year-long exhibition will launch as part of the Mela & Symposium. Jaruri is digital presentation of artists work from Bangladesh focusing on the complexities of the environmental crisis, including the climate emergency, pollution, habitat destruction and loss of species.

“The news, media, and frames of reference that most people who live in the UK have, are dominated by content from the Global North. I wanted to change this narrative by championing the work of pioneering artists who are making projects about this complex and emotional topic. Nature has influenced Bengali culture historically and continues to do so in the contemporary art scene.”

Sophina Jagot, Project Director for Transforming Narratives added: “The Mela & Symposium is an opportunity to see new work being created in Birmingham, Pakistan and Bangladesh as well as an opportunity to engage in a series of talks and exchanges exploring issues facing artists and arts organisations across the three countries.

“The Transforming Narratives Mela & Symposium is the first event of this kind focusing in on artists and creatives across Birmingham, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Festival feels like it’s just the beginning, in a really wonderful way, for the creative and cultural connections we’ve been fostering and encouraging through Transforming Narratives. We look forward to audiences experiencing something new and engaging in new conversations.”

Over the three days, there are three simultaneous programmes to experience:
Mela: Performances and presentations from artists based in Birmingham, Pakistan and Bangladesh. This is your chance to see new work and experience the theatre, music, dance and visual art being made across our three locations, right now. (audio described)
Symposium: A programme of critical talks and debate, where we investigate pressing subjects facing artists and arts organisations in Birmingham, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Ālaap: A series of one-on-one conversations, bringing together artists, curators and arts leaders from across the Transforming Narratives community. The word Ālāp has two meanings: it refers to unstructured, improvised movements found in musical traditions across South Asia, and is also the word for first-meeting and free-flowing conversation between friends and new acquaintances.

Pre-booked tickets allow for three days access to the Mela & Symposium online platform between 19th-21st March. Once registered joining instructions will be provided allowing attendees to hop in and out of the Mela, Symposium and Ālaap to suit. Access will also allow attendees to network with other delegates and contribute to discussions. For those who can’t join the full festival, the Mela will be live streamed on Transforming Narratives’ YouTube and Facebook channels.