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The Role of International Financial Institutions in Bangladesh’s Infrastructure Development and the Question of Protecting the People’s Interests

23 January 2016 Center for Bangladesh Studies office Bangladesh is the world’s primary testing ground for ‘development’. Bangladesh has seen everything - from cooperatives, self-reliance and birth control to the horrific ecological destruction of the Kaptai dam and the Khulna-Jessore Drainage Rehabilitation Project. There have been projects like the Jamuna Bridge as well as projects like the Rampal power plant and the Phulbari coal project. Over and above the government of Bangladesh, International Financial Institutions and Development Aid organisations play a dominant role in these projects. This programme was organised in view of the necessity of a critical anyalsis of these projects, and the view of ‘development’ at their basis, from the perspective of the wellbeing of the people of Bangladesh. A summary of an ongoing research on this subject that Centre for Bangladesh Studies is conducting was presented.

Dinesh Chandra Sen History of Bengal Study Circle

25 October Center for Bangladesh Studies office The selected text was The Pride of Ancient Bengal by Haraprasad Shastri Mahashay.

Feminisms and Social Movements in Bangladesh

2 April 2016 Bishwo Shahitto Kendro The idea was to bring together organizers, thinkers, working peoples, and people tired of the society we live in – those who might be interested in learning and unlearning towards effective resistance. Issues that were highlighted included, but were not limited to: the evolution of feminism in Bangladesh, the ways in which traumas create a certain kind of appropriate citizen and oppressed people, and violence and governance through regulation of land, money and bodies. Key questions in the discussion were: How do nationalism and patriarchy work together? Can our feminism steer clear of neocolonialism, in the era of globalization? Who should be Centered in a radical feminist politics? Is feminism losing its teeth in the current capitalist society? The conference looked at the flaws of the past, and elicited dialogue to build towards a framework of thought and strategies that could be used to transform society from the core. The day-long programme was  broken into different sections. It was opened with music and dance, performed by Ivan Ahmed Katha and her troupe and Tutul Hawlader, and performance art by Ali Asgar. This was followed by a panel discussion providing a historical perspective of feminist movements in Bangladesh, with speakers Khushi Kabir, Shireen Huq, Ivan Ahmed Katha, Samia Huq, Joya Sikder, Seuty Sabur and Anu Muhammad. After this, two caucuses were formed – one of members of the hijra community and sex workers, the other of adivasi women from the Chittagong Hill Tracts and the plainlands – and both groups conducted independent discussions.  Following this was a workshop on the politics of body, health and care, conducted by Hiya Islam and Ahmed Ibrahim, and then an open discussion where Taslima Akhter Lima, Uchacha-A Chak, Mithila Mahfuz, Prashanta Tripura, Abul Hasan Rubel, Shumi Rexona Parvin and Ahmed Kamal spoke. The conference was ended with a performance by Arup Rahee.

The History of the Murder of Rivers: The Political Ecology of The Bangladesh-India Relationship

Saturday 26 April, 2014 Center for bangladesh studies. Speaker: Abul Hasan Rubel; writer, researcher, coordinator of Bangladesh Ecology Movement Convenor: Bangladesh Ecology Movement Facilitator: Arup Rahee; General Secretary of Center for Bangladesh Studies Chair: Mustafa Zaman, artist, art critic, editor of Depart magazine, chairperson of Center for Bangladesh Studies

The Bangladesh-India Relationship: A Challenge for Progressive Politics

24 May 2014 Kolabhobon, Dhaka University Campus   The lecture was centred on the possibility of building friendship between the peoples of Bangladesh and India, and what the basis and process of building such a friendship could be. Many issues were brought to light – barbed wire, Felani Khatun, independence, the Liberation War, sovereignty, Farakka, Teesta, transit, Padma, 53 shared rivers, the growth of national economies, democracy, communalism, the War on Terror – and provoked discussion about the best strategy to build strong democracy across both countries. Mushtaq Khan, professor at SOAS, University of London, gave the lecture, while artist, critic and editor of Depart magazine, Mustafa Zaman, gave the welcome speech.  The discussion was chaired by Dr Ahmed Kamal , professor of History at Dhaka University. and facilitated by Arup Rahee.

Dinesh Chandra Sen Memorial Lecture 2014,East and West Bengal: Conflict and Unity of Identity

15 November 2014 Kolabhobon, Dhaka University Campus Dinesh Chandra Sen was one of the prime historian of Bengal. He expressed his vast interest in Bengali literature by collecting the texts from rural Bengal. He is known for collecting and editing maimansingha gitika and purbabanga gitika (four vols 1923 -1932) and their English version Eastern Bengal Ballads (four vols 1923-1932). CBS celebrates his memory and work by arranging a memorial lecture after his name.     Writer and researcher Firoz Ahmed was the first speaker at Center for Bangladesh Studies’ Dinesh Chandra Sen Memorial Lecture. The discussion was chaired by artist, critic and editor Mustafa Zaman. Dinesh Chandra Sen History of Bengal Reading Circle: https://www.facebook.com/groups/senbangla/

Momtazur Rahman Tarafdar Memorial Lecture 2015: An Anthropological and Historical Enquiry into Bangali Identity

  31 October 2015 Bishwo Shahitto Kendro in Dhaka. The lecture was given by the distinguinshed anthropologist, Prashanta Tripura, and chaired by Ahmed Kamal, a renowned professor of History at Dhaka University. Mustafa Zaman, an artist and critic, gave the welcome speech. Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/981053558581696/

Momtazur Rahman Tarafdar Memorial Lecture 2014: The Politics of Self

27 June 2014

Kolabhobon, Dhaka University Tarafdar was a very important historian in Bangladesh – a pioneer in the writing of the social and cultural histories and the histories of the formation of identities in this region. The memorial lecture was organised to pay respect to Tarafdar and to encourage discussion around the subjects of his work, in the hope that this would provoke democratic dialogue about the politics of Bangali identity. The eminent historian, Gautam Bhadra, spoke at this first Momtazur Rahman Tarafdar Memorial Lecture.  The discussion was chaired by Ahmed Kamal, a respected professor of History at Dhaka University. Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/415562205253128/