Karen Knorr in ‘Chobi Mela’, Bangladesh, Jan.2011
Karen Knorr and Tasveer Arts are pleased to announce Karen Knorr’s participation at Chobi Mela VI in Dhaka, Bangaladesh. INDIA SONG will be shown simultaneously with New Delhi gallery Art Motif opening January 21, 2011. Karen Knorr’s image The Queen’s Room from her recent series India Song will be representing the festival internationally. Karen Knorr will be representing Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom at the festival.
The ‘Chobi Mela’ is an international festival of photography held in Bangladesh. The key organisers are Drik picture library and Pathshala (The South Asian Institute of Photography). Bangladeshi photographer Shahidul Alam is the director of Chobi Mela.
Chobi Mela, the festival of photography in Asia is now recognised as the festival with the most diverse participation in the world. While most major festivals are situated in the west or are organised by western organisations, Chobi Mela is unique in being ‘home grown’ and has now gained its respectability through the variety and quality of the work exhibited. Chobi Mela V featured 63 exhibitions from 33 participating countries, spanning all continents of the globe. While most major photographic festivals are held in the west or organised by western curators, Chobi Mela was setup in Bangladesh and is being organised by Bangladeshis.
The outreach programme consisted of mobile exhibitions which went to schools, playgrounds, market places. The exhibitions were accompanied by community liaison staff who explained the context of the show to viewers. Visits to the exhibition by school children and guided tours by curators were also arranged. An exhibition on the plight of Bangladeshi Jute workers was shown on the walls of the courtyard of “Kalpana Boarding” a low cost motel in Old Dhaka. These programmes have been extremely successful and the model has been replicated in far flung countries, such as Bolivia, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.