Submitted by Tanvir Alim
Compiled and Edited by Ashoka DEB
The Goethe-Institut acts as a liason centre of the foreign cultural policy of Germany. Currently the centre is hosting Under the Rainbow’ festival which showcases several programmes employing the popular medium of dance, film and photography. The main theme of this event is to discover the beauty of loving , realising and revealing who and what you are, while breaking down the culture. A strong and bold statement indeed, in a nation where inter personal relationships are bruised,battered and dictated through pre-determined puritanistic norms and societal scrutiny.
Goethe will screen a few path breaking movies which have left lasting impressions in the field of gay rights and feminist movements.I will provide you here with a brief synopsis of the scheduled movies.
In this story, two young men meet and fall in love on the Brokeback Mountain in Wmoying in 1963. The film documents their complex relationship over time and how they succumbed to the social norms of getting married and publicly deny their affection. This film somewhat mirrors and reminds us of the typical end of relationships which the closetted Bangladeshi gays are forced to face over time.
If those walls could talk :
Its a fascinating movie which depicts the plights of three different women and their experiences with abortion. Each of the three stories takes place in the same house in three different years: 1952, 1974, and 1996. The movie vividly depicts each women’s experiences or to be more precise the helplessness across their individual circumstances demonstrating the dictates of puritan society over her own body. A very strong yet touching feminist film indeed.
Fried Green Tomatoes:
This film portrays how a timid housewife who is unhappy in her marital relationship befriends a tomboyish women, who teaches her to assert her rightful share of joy and later finally garners courage to invite her lesbian lover for a live in relationship. A textbook demonstration of transformation or metamorphosis what we non-normative genders aspire and dream of.
I first saw the works of Ghazi Nafis on his project “Community” across his website which portrays the state of homosexuality in Bangladesh. Ghazi, a photo journalist of repute, often works on social issues for the oppressed and suppressed communities , and the Bangladeshi homosexual community is no exception to this.His images make subtle yet powerful statements about the severely depressed psychological state of the Bangladeshi gays who have pushed themselves deep inside the closets to avoid approbations of any sort. I have noticed that many global LGBT activists consider internet based associations formed by party loving Bangladeshi gays belonging to the higher social strata as the sole barometer of same sex culture. Ghazi Nafis has painstakingly caught the glimpses of those Forbidden Relationships which blossom secretly across closetted indoors, yet violently denied in public by cautiosly meandering away from societal scrutiny to mitigate harshness and ridiculing. Yes, his lenses caught the glimpses of real state of homosexuality or gay culture in Bangladesh in truest form, the way it exists and has always existed……the CLOSETTED WAY.
You can have a look at his works at the PHOTO EXHIBITION ‘Looking at Inner Face’ which is scheduled between December 12, 06:00 pm – December 26 at Goethe Institute Dhaka
- Dhaka, Bangladesh
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