The prolonged lockdown has predominantly bogged us down. With nowhere to go and a limited amount of things to do, the pandemic has, however, unveiled creativity that some might have never explored before.
Creativity has the power to lift spirits, create good vibes and rejuvenate the morale of the people in the face of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
To showcase the power of creativity, the EMK Center and Dhaka Photo Academy Awards invited submissions of photographs by the young visual storytellers who captured the essence of lockdown life diversely and creatively.
Out of the 600 submissions, the top 45 were selected for a virtual exhibition titled 'Unleash creativity: Creative Moments During Pandemic'. The exhibition, which began on April 20, will run until May 10. If you want to see the virtual exhibition for yourself, head on to www.emkcenter.org/exhibition.
The participating artists at the exhibition include Sharika Nawal, Jotirmoy Deb, Umme Habiba, Shifat un Nabi, Sangik Ghosh, Ankita Islam, Dipanjan Chakraborty, Sabrina Jabin Sajuti, Archak Sikder, Khadiza Mabsurah, Khadija Akter Ema, Bidhan Chandra Das, Moon Moon Hossain, Safayet Hossain Santo, Robert Marrel Dela Vega, Devaraj Devan, Imtiaz Faisal Ruhad, Devmalya Chowdhury, Md Sabbir, Kazi Md Jahirul Islam, Abdullah Ibne Meraj and Deepbrata Dutta
Out of a collection of 45 artworks, TBS picked three images by three photographers that stood out in the exhibition.
'Oxygen' by Umme Habiba
In her village, covered in green, when it rained, you could hear the sound of rain on the roof made from a corrugated iron sheet. When a full moon rose in the sky, talking about cooking khichuri in the moonlit night was Umme Habiba's favourite job until a few years ago.
When she moved to Dhaka to get admitted to college after passing her SSC examinations, suddenly everything started to change. A life confined by city walls felt like a prison to her. When the pandemic began and the whole city went lockdown, she could only run to the roof to breathe a sigh of relief.
So one day she decided to plant a tree as long as she stayed at home. As there was little scope for planting trees on the roof, she started to plant trees in the empty crevices of her room. "When I wanted to plant trees, I noticed that I did not have any tubs to plant trees," Umme recalled. "Thinking about what can be done; a glass pickle jar caught my eye. Since I like to make art, I started cleaning and drawing on the jar. From then on, I tried to plant some trees in all the glass jars that I could find at home." Seeing this, Habiba's younger sister Mithila once told her that on the day the world's oxygen supply runs out, she could provide oxygen supply to the people from this secret oxygen reserve of hers.
Summer Themed Fruit Smoothie by Ankita Islam
A Summer-themed fruit smoothie bowl inspired by Ankita's trip to some Indonesian islands was made and captured for her food blog.
"I love to brainstorm and come up with my very own ideas. During the lengthy lockdown, I was very exhausted and missed the good old days a lot," said Ankita. "From then on, I thought why not re-create my memories in a unique way? As I already had a food blog on Instagram, it was easier for me to showcase my ideas. When I uploaded this photo, I was surprised by the number of people who loved and appreciated it."
Her photograph, which is also her favourite, also got featured in so many groups and pages. Ankita snapped and edited the photo on her android phone and showcased it for the competition and subsequent exhibition.
'This is what I call pleasure' by Sabrina Jabin Sajuti
Sabrina Jabin Sajuti would paint a lot of paintings to spend her time and relieve her mental stress after being locked up in the house during the lockdown. After some time she noticed that besides, doing paintings she also felt happy when she looked at her paintbrushes and painting tools. "I captured this picture to preserve some good memories during a very difficult time," she recalled.