Bangladesh independence celebration

Freedom fighters. Photo: Beth O'Connor, Rich Mix

Bethnal Green based arts centre Rich Mix is hosting the 40th anniversary of Bangladesh Independence Day, which will be celebrated with eight days of events.

The programme is in collaboration with British-Asian theatre company Tara Arts and the Bengali organisation Swadhinata Trust. It will commence with an opening reception on Saturday 26 March at 8pm.

Tara Arts will be performing an especially commissioned production, “Bangladesh 40: A Golden Age”. It tells the epic story of rebels and revolution in the turbulent years leading up to the Bangladesh War of Independence in 1971.  The play is inspired by Tahmima Anam’s novel, A Golden Age, and will be performed with seven episodes over seven nights from Sunday 27 March to the following Saturday.

Each night, live music from classical Bengali composers to modern Bangla songs will be played, including Rabindranath Tagore.

The celebrations will also host an exhibition with Swadhinata Trust entitled ‘Freedom’, which will be exhibited in the Rich Mix gallery over the next three weeks. Featuring photographers Anwar Hossain and Abul Lais Shyamal, the exhibition will illustrate the images of the Independence War of Bangladesh.

Director of Rich Mix, Jane Earl said: “By hosting and promoting Bangladesh Independence Week we want to introduce new audiences to Rich Mix and to enable local people to understand more about their own history as well as the history of the neighbours they live amongst. By bringing communities together in East London, we can celebrate and promote the culture and heritage of all the myriad communities living here.

“We are also very delighted to have some of our closet neighbours participating in the eight-day celebration, with St Hilda’s East Boundary Women’s Project and the Brick Lane-based Heba Women’s Project both showcasing traditional Bengal Kantha embroidery in the centre during the celebration.”

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