Displaced Rohingya showcase their work at art exhibition in Bangladesh

Displaced Rohingya showcase their work at art exhibition in Bangladesh

3-day exhibition kicks off in capital Dhaka

By Md. Kamruzzaman

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) - A happy face, which breaks into panic, and then sorrow. The life-size painting by 30 Rohingya artists depicts three stages of their life: before persecution in Myanmar, the genocide and then displacement to congested tents in neighboring Bangladesh.

The artists in Bangladesh’s refugee camps in the southern border district of Cox’s Bazar completed the painting in two weeks

Twenty such life-size paintings and 100 smaller ones by Rohingya artists were exhibited at a mall in the capital Dhaka.

The 3-day event was organized by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, in collaboration with Artolution Bangladesh, an international community-based public arts organization.

“We are human beings and we have creativity like other people and we have a dream to peacefully live and serve our motherland,” Rohingya youth Anwar Faruk, one of the 30 artists, told Anadolu.

He said that through arts and paintings, they want to keep alive their dreams and show the world their talents.

“We no longer want to be a burden for Bangladesh and depend on relief foods. We have the merits and strengths to serve our nation if our citizenship rights are restored and we can be repatriated to our homeland with the safety guarantee,” Faruk said.

“The exhibition is aimed at shedding light on the life and culture of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh,” A S M Suza Uddin, country director at Artolution Bangladesh, told Anadolu while describing the backgrounds of different paintings.

Claiming the exhibition as the first time in the country’s biggest shopping complex and such an open public gathering, he added that the artworks are inspired by the lives of refugees in the world's largest refugee camp, and they represent an attempt to promote resilience and healing through the arts.

“I am really impressed by such nice creative works by the persecuted Rohingya,” Moni Rani Das, one of the visitors at the exhibition, told Anadolu.

A Bangladeshi artist, Syed Rashad Imam Tanmoy, who was at the exhibition, said that such creative works of Rohingya artists will strengthen the bondage between the persecuted people and the rest of the world.

“Every painting I see here has a heart-touching tale of Rohingya people. It’s really amazing how a deprived nation can picture its dreams through the arts and paintings.

Earlier, in a letter to the media, the UNHCR said: “Painting allows them (Rohingya) to reflect and find inner peace. Through these works, the Rohingya artists hope to share stories about their past traumas, present challenges, future aspirations, and Rohingya identity.”

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