Porapara Space for Artists is an artist-run initiative with a mission to provide basic logistical,mediation and production support for emerging artists since the year of foundation 2004. Situated at Charbasthi,a beautiful village of Patenga in Chittagong, next to the Shah Amanat International Airport, between the estuary of Karnafuli river and the beach of Bay of Bengal.The Space has run some excellent participatory based community projects with local peoples as well as with artists from home and abroad. Also has organized workshops, residency programs, exhibitions, public art projects and artists’talks during the operational years.Porapara Space for Artists is a platform for mass communication through artistic activities.
Bangladeshi contemporary artists are in great need of alternative spaces for experimental and research work, in order to develop the visual arts in Bangladesh both nationally and internationally. We critically need more exchange programs (workshops, residencies) within the country as well as internationally, to develop cultural experiences and ideas. These kinds of exchanges are a powerful and proven medium to construct cultural bridges between practitioners from different backgrounds and nations.
Therefore,our aim to develop the space of Porapara with adequate resources for artists’ research, workshop and studio facilitiesPorapara already has accommodation for five artists and one common studio space, very basically equipped. Our plan is to expand and add studios with multimedia, ceramic and print-making facilities; as well as accommodation to stay and work for short periods. Since 2004, Porapara has been established, developed and supported almost entirely by our own money. As practicing artists in Bangladesh, we have extremely limited funds to develop Porapara to an international level.We currently are seeking funding for the media studio and the additional 2 residency space in porapara
goals of project:
Contemporary art in Bangladesh is at a crossroads. There are many good ingredients in the country – abundant young artists, the natural environment, cultural diversity within regions – but the resources are simply not available anywhere in the country to realize this potential. We need to develop real infrastructure and facilities to enable the potential of the visual arts in Bangladesh. We know that contemporary art around the world is flourishing with conceptual intelligence and creative exploration. As a South Asian developing country we want to be a part of this movement. Despite our obvious limitations of huge poverty, high population and capacity for natural disasters, we believe we can use our local experiences positively as a catalyst for artistic development.
PoraparaThe Porapara space for artists is dedicated to empowering young and experimental energies in visual art; and to the application of art for the larger social purpose via engaging with the general public through artistic activity. Porapara was founded to address an almost total lack in Bangladesh – even in the major cities – of functional space for artistic encounter of all kinds: that is, for meetings, presentations, discussion and the exhibition of work that falls outside the limited conventions of the current gallery system.
The Porapara project aims
– to provide space for encounter between urban and rural knowledge systems
– a place where city-based artists can come for concentrated research, production and discourse; and a platform to share dialogue, art and understanding with locals in the village. We have initiated a number of activities of this nature at Porapara already, with great success.
– to arrange and run well-equipped facilities for production and experimentation to artists and researchers
– to establish and nurture a strong network amongst artists and art organizations, at home and abroad
.- to operate a printing and publishing resource for artists and the local society
.- to provide a source of comprehensive information about the international contemporary art world to local artists and art-lovers
.- to enable a channel for decentralization of artistic activity outside of the capital and its institutions
.- to involve the villagers and rural society in an active engagement with the activity of art.We are especially concerned to integrate a high awareness of natural and biological systems, ecology and local habitat at all levels of development of the space.
*Residency space Porapara currently has space for 5 residential artists, with basic, unequipped studio, sleeping area and separate bathroom. We are in the process of developing this residential facility to accommodate more artists in total Print studio.This studio provides facilities for print making media, including etching, aquatint, linocut, serigraph,silkscreen and other experimental technical work related to print. We have already developed the studio space for print media and installed an etching/aquatint printer and some relevant accessories.
The project will set up:
*one Residency space for 5 artists
*Media work studio*Print making studio
*Equipped common studio for metal wood and experimental materials
*Silk screen studio
*Public gathering space
*Experimental gallery space
*Information and documents archive + library
*For activities taking place outside a specific funded program at Porapara, the facilities will be made available to porapara general members( 10% discount), artists and public to use for a very small access/membership fee, as contribution to ongoing operating and maintenance costs.
Our target audience for your project :
Our core audience will include artists from the region who have come through Chittagong’s two Art Institutes, practicing artists and art-lovers in the district. We also will be actively targeting an audience of general public from the city of Chittagong, as well as artists and art audiences from around the country. People from the village community will be involved at all levels of the program, and we will be working with students from the 2 high schools and 4 primary schools in the area and with cultural organizations in neighboring villages. The other audience we wish to reach is the large number of people who visit the area around Porapara for recreational purposes (sea beach and river). Finally, we intend to communicate the projects undertaken at Porapara to a international audience of peers engaged in similar practices.
Impact on the cultures by engaging with the project:
Porapara space for artists will be the first space in Bangladesh to provide a large number of first-hand opportunities to local artists. At this time there are no alternative art spaces in Chittagong, and no media-art facilities anywhere in Bangladesh with access for visual artists. There are no ceramic or iron work facilities in the department of Fine Arts at Chittagong University or at Art College, Chittagong.
There are additionally no artists’ residency spaces with well-equipped studio facilities anywhere in the country, and no library facilities providing information on contemporary art. Artists passing their final exam at Chittagong’s 2 major art institutes have currently no options for studio space to continue art practices related to heavy equipment (etching, printing, ceramics, ironwork or multimedia digital work). An independent space for art production is really a critical need of this time in Chittagong.
Porapara will also supply the first opportunity for Bangladesh artists to work in good facilities inside the metropolitan areas. The unique social and natural setting – in close proximity to sea beach, river bank and natural environment, but also to international shipping port and the surrounding radical transitions from a traditional rural existence to life on the fringes of a market economy; will provide a total change of concentrated environment for artists who work mainly in the cities. In terms of the local population, we have been slowly developing relationship with the villagers over the past 4 years and can already witness a developing awareness of art, the opportunity for contact with other cultures and the possibilities for social change that this can bring. Aside from visitors to our space – and despite the proximity of the international airport and passing tourist traffic – the village Charbasthi is highly isolated from positive cultural influences or visitors from outside the region, so the cultural and social influence Porapara can have is potentially very great. Our program will bring locals and visitors together in a concentrated way, through collaborations between artists and village craftspeople, direct and varied employment for local labor, the long-running residency periods and the diverse relationships that can form through these contacts. We are confident of the ability of these situations to create real and long-term exchange between people of different backgrounds and origins..