Birmingham Museums showcases Bangladeshi artist Mustafa Zaman in outdoor exhibition

A new outdoor exhibition in Chamberlain Square is marking the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence. Lost Memory Eternalised showcases artworks and writing by artist Mustafa Zaman that explore the body, trauma, history, and politics in Bangladesh. The exhibition is on display from 20 October until 14 November.

The exhibition, developed jointly by Birmingham Museums Trust and Bengal Foundation, is a part of the ‘Bangladesh 50: Commemorating Independence from 1971 to 2021’ project which is supported by British Council’s Digital Collaboration Fund. The fund supports UK and overseas cultural partnerships to develop digitally innovative ways of collaborating.

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Mustafa Zaman was born 1968 and is a significant part of the growing contemporary art world in Dhaka. His series Lost Memory Eternalised was made from found images and was inspired by a chance encounter when the artist discovered ants in his honey. The historic images overlaid with a torrent of drowned ants create haunting, poetic visuals to make us think about the impact of politics and history upon us as individuals.

Mustafa Zaman says about Lost Memory Eternalised, “This series of images brings focus to the historical moments in Bengal which endured 200 years of colonial oppression. It addresses the trauma and alienation modern life has given rise to as the legacies of the past continue to haunt the people in this region. My primary goal was to create some imaginary relics through which to reach an eddy of thoughts and emotions.”

Luva Nahid Choudhury, Director General at the Bengal Foundation says, “We are excited that the programming developed in collaboration with the Birmingham Museums on the 50th year of Bangladesh’s independence, which included talks and film screenings earlier this year, culminates in the outdoor show of a series of photographic works by artist and art-writer Mustafa Zaman. We hope that this stimulating body of work will acquire new significance in the post-Covid era, in inspiring audiences to delve into the complexities of our time and reflect on social construct.”

As Bangladesh celebrates 50 years of its extraordinary journey as a nation, this year also marks 70 years since the British Council opened the doors of its first office in Dhaka. Over the course of this shared history, British Council has built strong people-to-people connections between the UK and Bangladesh across English, education, arts and culture. Lost Memory Eternalised is in Chamberlain Square, Birmingham from 20 October until 14 November.

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