TEDxDhaka 2017: Rendering Tomorrow Session 4

Self-Reflection

Tayeba Begum Lipi

Tayeba Begum Lipi, a Bangladeshi artist, uses art to address gender issues and female identity. In her talk, she lets the visual displays of her work tell the story. Each of her creations are built with everyday articles that seem simple, but fulfills numerous purposes.

Razor blade, she recollected, separated her from her mother, during birth, at the cut of the umbilical cord. Her Bizarre and the Beautiful model, sculpted with fabricated razor blades, is a show of women’s undergarments, an essential item for women but a taboo in the society nonetheless. The glimpse of her own life- her happy marriage, the unfortunate loss of a baby, and the contemplation of death, was symbolized by Love Bed, My Daughter’s Cot, and Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye.

She shared her one year-long project on transgenders, the demography that is still considered a social outcast. Lipi got in touch with Ananya, a transgender, who willfully shared her life story and struggles. Lipi later exhibited Ananya’s life by replicating her personal belongings with fabricated items, and by lightbox displays of both their lives when compared.

She played the videos of her projects Unveiling Womanhood and I wed myself. The former video reinforces that a woman’s identity is not defined by the attire she chooses for herself. I wed myself, where Lipi enacts both the groom and bride, challenges society’s definition of marriage or union between two individuals. This video calls for more inclusion and tolerance in the society.

Chitropot

Six young boys took their position on stage with their fancy instruments and won everyone’s heart with the first tune.

They shared the formation of their dear band, Chitropot, so named because the band symbolizes the canvas which shows the harmony between each of their skills. Playful desk banging in the classrooms and free music after school hours, under the shade of a tree, led to the formation of Chitropot. They didn’t enter the music world as know-it-all experts. They learned new instruments, music notes, and skills at each stage a fresh element was required. Chitropot defied the conventional process of starting anything new and strongly believes that everything falls into place when you pour your heart and soul into it.

On the TEDxDhaka stage, the band started with the song Brishti Tumi which was also the first song they released. The group of six believes that this song defines their journey, which is why both its original and revised versions were played to depict the band’s transformation. Their performance was further enlivened by the melodious tunes of Shada Kalo Rongdhonu and Chokbadha.

Ejaj Ahmad

Life is a race. We are always on the run for one thing or the other.

“But do we pause for a moment to realize what the purpose of this running is?”

In his speech, Ejaj points out the stifling modern life competitions. While we are engrossed in this rat race and may also outrun our peers, Ejaj questions if we are headed the right way.

“Running in the right direction requires purpose.”

Ejaj iterates that purpose will lead our passion. However, finding the purpose is not an easy task. To this, the speaker suggests to reflect on our actions, our daily behaviors, and not our words. Our life story and values are key ingredients in setting our purpose, and it should not merely be about surviving.

“Above and beyond all purposes, you must have a higher over-arching purpose that is about serving others.”

Once the purpose has been figured out, one needs to stay connected to it. Ejaj Ahmad shares two ways to do soone is to allow discipline and consistency in life and the other is to unfasten oneself from others’ burdensome expectations.

“Identify the bottles of expectations that you need to empty to achieve your over-arching purpose.” With this, Ejaj Ahmad emptied a bottle of expectation that was slowing him down from reaching his goal, and left the audience to contemplate about their life’s ultimate purpose.

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