ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM - features the work of Bangladeshi artist Kamruzzaman Shadhin & Rohingya craft persons from Kutupalong Refugee camp is presented at Design District (d3)
Dubai Design District, Dubai
12 March 2021, 12:00 AM
12 April 2021, 12:00 AM
‘Elephant in the Room’- Featuring the work of Bangladeshi artist Kamruzzaman Shadhin and Rohingya craft persons from Kutupalong Refugee Camp, makes its debut at Dubai Design District , March 12-April 12, 2021.
This is presented by the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation, in association with Art Dubai, the installation was born from a dialogue about human displacement and disenfranchisement and the resulting displacement of wildlife.
Bangladeshi artist Kamruzzaman Shadhin created a participatory art project for “Elephant in the Room”, with occupants of the Kutupalong Refugee camp, to highlight the negative impact on the environment and the displacement of elephants due to the sudden arrival of thousands of Rohingya communities in 2017.
Bamboos were used for constructing Life-size elephants and used clothing to promote a balanced human coexistence with nature as well as to raise awareness about elephant conservation within the community. In exchange for new clothes, torn clothes were collected from camp inhabitants, that were turned into patchwork quilts (Kantha). They were sewn by the craftswomen in the community, that were then used to cover the elephants.
According to Shahdin: “This project is an attempt to weave art, community practices, migrant experiences, trauma, and hope in a ‘kantha’ which embodies the struggles of the stateless, be it human or animal, all over the world.”
The project was originally conceived at the refugee camp with the support from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). It then travelled to Dhaka for the Asian Art Biennial in 2018, where the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation team decided to promote the cause and acquire the sculptures. Before making their way to Dubai, the elephants were recently on display at the High Commission of Canada in Bangladesh