Futures Beyond the Self

Futures Beyond the Self
Opening of the ‘Futures beyond the Self’ exhibition at Kala Kendra Art Gallery in Dhaka on March 9, 2021 | © Goethe-Institut/ Ahadul Karim

The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered us to look beyond our immediate human condition to contextualize our being in the world. How does what we do impact others? How do we consider the non-human and material worlds in our everyday actions? Which futures do we imagine beyond being self-centred on “surviving online”? Futures beyond the Self seeks to provide a space for new ideas to flourish and for continued societal and collective engagement. It seeks to support both individuals and collectives in their endeavour to reflect, critique, and suggest alternative futures and pathways of ‘being in the world’.

The Goethe-Institut Bangladesh invited Bangladeshi artists, artistes, art collectives, cultural activists, and cultural organisations to apply for funding for innovative projects and selected 11 awardees in 2020-21. Futures Beyond the Self © Wakilur Rahman © Wakilur Rahman EMRAN SOHEL: RESPONSE TO NUMBNESS

Response to numbness is a long-term community based collective art project's (zero waste food art) outcome, which was the response of the global pandemic. It inhaled the frustration of this pandemic by involving the process of growing its own food on the rooftop. Though it can’t fulfill the needs of the daily food of each family.
Sumana Akter: Gloomy Kantha © Wakilur Rahman SUMANA AKTER: GLOOMY KANTHA

Gloomy Kantha is a durational transdisciplinary collaborative project initiated by Sumana Akter from Narayanganj. During this short performative exchange we - a group of suburban womyn amplify the unrecognized stories from the new normal covid life in terms of our fluid experiences around pandemic reality.

Tahia Farhin Haque: Duality in Reality © Wakilur Rahman TAHIA FARHIN HAQUE: DUALITY IN REALITY

The project involves how we have become disconnected from reality and in turn morality. Exploring the locked cervixes of our minds. It makes us face ourselves & the society for answers - "Have you healed?" The project involves the changes in realities and psyches through objects, subjects and spaces.

Tehai: Agni Mangal © Goethe-Institut Bangladesh TEHAI: AGNI MANGAL 

Agni Mangal is a research-based performance art initiative based on the fire god Agni. Following the description of Agni in Vedas and Kathasaritsagara by Somadeva, artist Rajani Raoja brings the character out of western frameworks such as bisexuality, third gender, LGBT, rainbow et cetera which are mostly generated from their disrupt Eurocentric approach. In addition to that, they welcomed opinion from every people and took experiences from the online dating apps to question masculinity and its construction in our society, exploring various colours found itself in Agni.

Priyank Chowdhury, Pranabesh Das, Toukir Ahmed Tanvee: Pandemonium Chronicles © Pranabesh Das PRIYANKA CHOWDHURY, PRANABESH DAS, TOUKIR AHMED TANVEE: PANDEMONIUM CHRONICLES

The project intends to track, archive, and narrate the happenings of some social movements during the pandemic that not only questions the strategic concepts of the state but also its humanitarian stance. It also explores the efficiency of the digital platforms used heavily while activists were compelled to avoid mass gathering due to health risks. The contents, analytics and actual feedbacks may aid rethink the design of social movements of the future.

Murshed Jahangir: 2020 হ য ব র ল Decode moments © Wakilur Rahman MURSHED JAHANGIR: 2020 হ য ব র ল DECODE MOMENTS

The project is a visual art book project and represents the timeline, unknown sense of living under this pandemic. It deals with my visual works along with the questions which has seeded in my mind during the lockdown period.


Food leaves a trail. In this project, we look at ecological, community, political aspects of agriculture, distribution and consumption, in other words, food as praxis, food as political. We document both current conditions and openings for alternate modes of production and distribution. The project concerns itself with mass and production/produce to advance a shared present and future against environmental and economic depredations. 

Strange Space © Wakilur Rahman SAMSUL ALAM HELAL: STRANGE SPACE

This project is about making postcards from a series of images and reaching out to the wider community to intervene in the postcard-images by exchanging them through the post.
Combinatory, sometimes strange, collaged, collectively created images to show the illogical relations between pandemic and politics, revealing our unknown fears and hopes.

 Haghore - An era of Homelessness © Goopy Bagha Productions Limited ARIFUR RAHMAN, JOYTU SHUSHIL ZIKU: HAGHORE - AN ERA OF HOMELESSNESS

Ziku is a student. He lives in a small rented house. He does tuition for his livelihood and also sends money to his family. Ziku befriended with a street-dog named Lalu during this Corona period. In a quiet evening, their friendship ends in a melancholic way.


Ghurni Listening Sessions: Performed Live is a series of curated site-specific cinematic musical productions. These are sonic experiences designed, performed, and filmed by Dhaka-based digital sound artists, vocalists, instrumentalists, recording/audio engineers, and visual artists. These collaborations are curated and produced in response to particular locations scattered all across Dhaka, and the films are created to embody these experiences.

Cloud Life © Estiak Hossain Shaikat SHAHLA ISLAM: CLOUD LIFE - মেঘপুরীর গল্প

A screen-life short film depicting the time of pandemic. The story evolves around a young woman who tries to stay positive by making new friends online in between tackling different personal issues. As a result, the lockdown that started as a negative force, turns out to be the breath needed for finding her hidden spirit, authentic self.