Floating Peers-2013

Meet The Press at Pressclub,Chittagong



Floating Peers – 2013 is a project for socially engaged art(Social Practice Art) practitioners produced jointly by Porapara Space for Artists, Bangladesh and Artists’ Association MUU, Finland. Along with these two organizersCommunity Space Litmus fromSouth-Koreahas been co-operating with the project as a partner. 37 participants from Bangladesh, Finland, India, Japan, Nepal and South Korea will be participating at this event. The program will take place in‘the Porapara Space for Artists’at Patengaand in urban environments of Chittagong city, Bangladesh.

The project consists of a series of workshops, in which the participating artists will develop and carry out community initiatives with street children and their families from Patenga area (Charbasthi, Gucchogram, Daskhin Para and Duria Para villages). Many of them have lost their own lands during the establishment of Airport (now Shah Amanath International Airport) and Military Air Force base (Now BAF Base Zahurul Haque). Their lands were seized under the administration of three consecutive governments,such as: British, Pakistan and Bangladesh government. But the said people always lost their possessions instead of nothing. Consequently many people became landless and lost their homes. Now they are living illegally in a land of Chittagong port authority located near the conjunction of Karnafully and the Bay of Bengal. A large number of people who lost their homes during different natural disasters have also arrived in the area from the southern parts of Chittagong like Banskhali, as well as from some islands like Sanwip, Hatiya and Urkirchar of the Bay of Bengal. In view of the fact stated above, the project has become involved, from both humanistic and artistic bases, with different issues of day to day life of aforesaid victimized people.

The project´s target group is somewhat unemployed and partly earn their livelihood by hawking and small street businesses. Many of them live on the fringes of society without permanent abode or basic necessities. They have their huts on the banks of the river Karnafully that face regular risks from tidal wave and flood during the flowing of yearly monsoon. Since the abodes of target groups have been built on the unauthorized land of said port-authority, they survive there with regular threat of turning from the area. Thus, a kind of social instability deprives their children from school education and exposes young people in particular to all kinds of exploitation. As a result, the coastal tourist-favored Patenga area which is well known for its black market attracts them for easy earning with high risks and low salaries.

The aim of the project is to develop in cooperation with local artists and experts artistic means for working with these segments of the population in order to enhance their livelihood, standard of living and provide public exposure to the concerning issues. The main objectives of the project lie in grass root level potentials within the targeted groups for building their confidence and enrich the possibilities for constructive and positive resolution for their situation. In contrast to NGO´s who work in Bangladesh for developing sanitation systems, establishing free schools, providing medicines and free treatment etc., the Floating Peers sets its goal for raising mental strength of the targeted groups. It studies the innovative potential of artistic teamwork to transform the symbolic power of art into real life social practices.

By engaging the artists to the deprived class of the society, the project also focuses on expanding the visible horizon of artistic activities in Bangladeshi society. Owing to the traditional character of education system, the field of socially engaged art is marginal in Bangladesh. The project´s intention is, therefore, to engage artists from different countries in a peer learning process and to highlight them socially engaged art within the field of culture in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh this direction of socially engaged art can be recently seen in artistic projects made during the Shahbag protestation 2013, as a reaction to the events of International War Crime Tribunal. For example, the artist facilitated public gesture to write letters to the people who died in Bangladesh independence war in 1971, and sending them to sky by gas balloons assembled spontaneously large crowds of people to a collective per-formative action. The above and many other artistic and activist initiatives, like the large-scale candlelight protest for condemning the war criminals, that gathered millions of participants show clear examples of a deep-rooted bond between the art, politics and societal action.

The floating Peers 2013 is a project to discuss and implement this bond between art and society by inter-cultural collaborative field work, artistic talks, seminars and open studio exhibition.


Participant list:

Anna Knappe(Helsinki-Finland), A.K.M.Ariful Islam(Rajshahi), Aranya Sharma(Cox’s Bazar), Buddho Dev Mondal(Khulna), Chang Wan Wee(Anyang, South Korea), Chikahiro Hanamura(Osaka-Japan), Farah Naz Moon(Chittagong), Farhana Preya(Chittagong) , Hossain Mahmood Rocky(Chittagong), Joydev Roaja(Chittagong), Jublee Dewan(Chittagong), Kalle Hamm(Helsinki-Finland), Masaki Morishima (Osaka-Japan), Maruf Adnan(Chittagong), Mishuk Ehsan(Chittagong), Meherun Akter(Chittagong), Mong mongshay (Dhaka University), NHM Abu Bakar (Professor,Dept of Philosophy, CU), Partho Protim Saha(Khulna), Rita Leppiniemi(Helsinki-Finland), Sanjeev maharjan(Nepal), Sarita Dongol(Katmundo-Nepal), Shaila Jinnat Runi(Khulna), So Young (South Korea), Santanu Mondal (Rajshahi), Shipon Ali PK(Rajshahi), Suchayan Paul(Chittagong), Sultana Nashrin Mumu (Rajshahi), Sumit Chakraborty(Chittagong), Syeda Neegar Banu(Khulna), Yongsung Behck(Ansan city,South Korea), Yun Hee Choi(South Korea) Zihan karim(Chittagong),

Program coordinated by

Artist JP Kaljonen(Helsinki-Finland)
Abu Naser Robii(Chittagong,Bangladehs)

floating Peers projects





an alternative art space