Displacement & Belonging: Ali Asgar and Tuhin DasThursday, June 28, 2018 @ 8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Join Ali Asgar, a transdisciplinary artist and cultural producer, and Tuhin Das, a poet, activist, and political columnist, as they discuss their experiences leaving Bangladesh, living in the US as displaced artists, and how displacement has affected their creative work.
Asgar will present their current project “No One Home”, a work constructed around the concept of human interactivity, displacement, trauma, and queer identity. The key intention of this interactive performance piece is to find the meaning of home and belonging. Tuhin will read an excerpt from his forthcoming poetry manuscript. The discussion will be followed by an audience Q&A.
The event will be presented in Bengali, with simultaneous interpretation into English.
The event is presented in collaboration with PEN America and the Artists at Risk Connection (ARC).
Born in 1991, Bangladesh, Ali Asgar is a transdisciplinary artist and cultural producer whose
work focuses primarily on the body and the relationship between body and space. Ali’s early work and activism were around the area of gender, sexuality and social norms which often reflects upon their personal struggle and experience of growing up in conservative Bangladeshi patriarchal society and its attitude toward members of the LGBTQI community. The controversial and politically charged nature of Ali Asgar’s work—exploring gender and eroticism—exposed them to significant risk in their home city of Dhaka, where Asgar staged provocative street performances and gallery exhibitions intentionally designed to challenge the conservative sexual mores of the culture. As an artist, whose provocative art and personal identity placed them at extreme risk, Ali Asgar was awarded an Artist Protection Fund Fellowship in 2016. Ali is currently working on an MFA in Performance at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago – SAIC. Isolation and displacement plays a key role in Ali’s current works and thought process, their recent projects are politically-inspired especially by the recent political stressful climates of United States. Ali’s current project “No One Home”, a work constructed around the concept of human interactivity, displacement, trauma and queer identity and the key intention of this interactive performance piece is finding the meaning of home and belongingness.
Asgar has a BFA in Printmaking from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Dhaka and has participated in major group exhibitions including the 2014 and 2016 Dhaka Art Summits, the 2016 Kolkata International Performance Festival, the 2014 Dhaka Social Art Festival and the Asian Art Biennial. For last one year, Asgar toured around the USA with their work and produced work in several spaces in Boston, Chicago, NY, and Maine. Earlier 2017, Asgar was one of the leading speakers and a featured artist at the PEN World Voice Festival in New York City. Ali’s most recent ongoing work is a solo performance conversation “Dinner Table,” a work focuses on racial food experience, consumer behavior and food politics.
Tuhin Das (Bangladesh) is a poet, activist, political columnist, short story writer and essayist. He was born and raised in Barisal, Bangladesh. He is the author of seven poetry books in his native language (Bengali). He was involved in the Little Magazine Movement and edited a few literary magazines; he’s had contemporary poetry criticism articles, short stories and political columns published in the last fifteen years in Bangladesh.
Since 2013, he has been the target of fundamentalist militant groups who have murdered secular writers and activists in Bangladesh. Instead of protecting him, the police collected and examined his writings for anti-Islamist statements to use against him. To save his own life, he had no choice but to go into hiding and find a way out of Bangladesh. He left his country on April 2016. Tuhin Das is now the current ICORN writer-in-residence of City of Asylum in Pittsburgh.
Tuhin’s latest publication can be seen in forthcoming edition of Words without Borders, a journal focusing on translated works by authors that are not easily accessible to English-speaking readers.