Bangladesh 50: Tara celebrates independence

Published: 21 November 2021
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti


The independence of Bangladesh in 1971 gives its name to Tara Theatre's new season of work, Bangladesh 50.

Included in the programme are two world premières Dawaat and a virtual reality event Amma.

Conceived and directed by Abdul Shayek, intergenerational theatre piece Dawaat opens proceedings with a celebration of Bangladeshi heritage in contemporary UK with the sharing of food, poetry, live music, spoken word and movement.

Later in the programme, Amma, which is written by Kamal Kaan based on testimony, focusses on the experience of Bangladeshi women during the War of Independence and for some their settlement in the UK of the 1970s and '80s.

Artists Make Space sees work presented in Dhaka, Sylhet, Chittagong, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and London created by pairings of Bangladesh-based and UK-based artists.

Artistic director of Tara Theatre Abdul Shayek said, "until fairly recently, I knew very little about the birth of Bangladesh. These projects are a culmination of my discoveries and education of the land of my birth.

"There is an urgency and need to tell and preserve these stories as we are losing the people who helped to create Bangladesh. At the very moment of celebrating its creation, Bangladesh is a nation under threat. In the next 30 years, it is projected that Bangladesh will lose up to 11% of its land, displacing millions.

"These projects are not only a celebration of 50 years, but also a stark reminder that our actions now will determine whether we are able preserve Bangladesh’s rich cultural history, and the very land on which it was created, a place which is strongly linked to Britain’s past, present and future."

See the Tara Arts web site for full details of the many events taking place across the season in various locations.