Dhaka – An architectural exhibition of Department of Architecture, BRAC University titled River Rhapsody: Museum of Rivers and Canals began at La Galerie, Alliance Française de Dhaka. The inagural ceremony of the exhibition was held on Saturday.
Eminent architect Prof. Shamsul Wares graced the occasion as chief guest. Alejandra López García, chargé d’affaires, the Embassy of Spain in Dhaka attended the event as special guest and architect and architectural historian Dr Adnan Morshed present as the guest of honour .
Rivers are epic stories, engraved in geography. Nowhere is this phenomenon more poignantly demonstrated than in the Bengal delta. Contemplating Bengal’s aquatic cartography, Poet Jibananando Das wrote: “…The river murmurs something on its way through.” In his soliloquy with the river, Jibananando, like many others, discovered the nature of Bengal, a riverine tapestry that weaves together humanity with an archetypal consciousness of nature. Rivers are Bengal’s lifeline. They make Bengal Bengal.
Yet, in the name of progress, in the last three decades or so rivers and canals in urban Bangladesh have been encroached upon to create land for growth and gentrification. They have been seen as dumping ground for industrial wastes.
The pollution of river waters has shown the dark side of prosperity. The melancholy of disappearing rivers and canals can now be felt across Bangladesh.
In this context, third year architecture students of the Department of Architecture at BRAC University faced the challenge of building public awareness through the design of a Museum of Rivers and Canals along the Karnafuli River in old town Chittagong. In addition to showcasing the history, geography, and economy of rivers and canals through a host of exhibits at the museum, the architecture of the museum itself was envisioned as a solemn reminder of our responsibility toward Bengal’s precious “waterscape.”
Guided by professors Adnan Morshed and Abul Fazal Mahmudun Nobi, six student groups responded to this design challenge by combining research, aesthetics, and a deep sense of environmental ethics.
The exhibition will be open to all until 20 September at La Galerie, Alliance Française de Dhaka (AF Dhaka). Visiting Hours: Monday to Thursday from 3:00pm to 9:00pm, Friday and Saturday (9:00am to12:00 noon and 5:00pm to 8:00pm). Closed -Sunday. – Press release