List of participating artists

A. B. Walliuddin Ahmed Chawdhury (Sujan)
Fashion design exhibitor

A. B. Walliuddin Ahmed Chawdhury is a Bangladeshi designer who graduated in 2004 from the national institute of fashion technology. His ultimate inspirations come from travel; he gains a great deal from experiencing different places and cultures. Ahmed’s designs are based on bringing an eastern, exotic detail to his western designs. Ahmed was involved in a lot of dance and other cultural activities in his youth and it was the work of Bibi Russell who inspired him to venture into fashion. He aspires to one day have his own fashion line.

Abdal Ullah
Adda participant

Abdal Ullah has extensive experience of working with London’s Strategic bodies and communities. He was the first British Bangladeshi to serve on the Metropolitan Police Authority, the council of Queen Mary, University of London NHS Trust the largest Hospital trust in the UK. He is the co-founder and chair of the Labour Faith Network and a Trustee of the Thames Water Trust. Abdal Hosts a weekly talk show on Betar Bangla, the first ever 24 hour Bangla radio station in the country and presents a business talk show on Channel 9 Sky 834. He is an elected councillor in Tower Hamlets.

Akram Khan
Dance Professional: Panelist- Grand Adda: Creativity

Akram Khan is one of the UK’s most celebrated and respected dance artists. In just over a decade he has created a body of work that has contributed significantly to the cultural arts in the UK and abroad. His reputation has been built on the success of imaginative, highly accessible and relevant productions such as DESH, Vertical Road, Gnosis and zero degrees.

Khan’s work is recognised as being profoundly moving, in which his intelligently crafted storytelling is effortlessly intimate and epic. Described by the Financial Times as an artist “who speaks tremendously of tremendous things”, a recent highlight of his career was the creation of a section of the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony that was received with unanimous acclaim.

Website: facebook / twitter

Alexandrina  Hemsley
Woven Air Dancer – Launch night

Graduating from Laban Conservatory with a first class honours in Dance Theatre working with Struan Leslie and Matteo Fargion, and also danced with Ffin Dance Wales. She has choreographed work for Future Shorts film festival.  More recently Alexandrina performed in Production as part of ‘Move: Choreographing You’ exhibition at Hayward Gallery and then toured to Munich and Dusseldorf.

Annie Smol BA (Hons) Drama
Participant in Adda session 3

Annie is the Artistic Director and founder of Face Front Inclusive Theatre. She has worked in community and educational theatre for over twenty five years with organisations such as Greenwich Young People’s Theatre, Half Moon YPT, Watford YPT, Greaea Theatre Co, London Bubble, Royal Court, Chats Palace, Theatre In Schools Partnership and Theatre Venture as a Director, Workshop facilitator and Producer. She specialises in gathering stories to give excluded communities a voice; creating original, innovative and life changing theatre.

Ansar Ahmed Ullah
Director Swadhinata Trust: Host of Adda 2

Ansar Ahmed Ullah is a community activist who has lived and worked in the East End of London since the 1980s. He has worked as a youth, social and community worker and has been an active anti-racist campaigner. He is currently involved with the Swadhinata Trust, set up in 2000 to engage and work with young people to promote secular Bengali heritage and arts.  Ansar collaborated with the Swadhinata Trust, on an oral history project, ‘Tales of Three Generations of Bengalis in Britain’ (2006), of which he is co-author. He recently worked on a research project documenting the early Bengali settlers in Tower Hamlets.   Ansar’s research interests include the sociology of ethnicities, identity, nationalism, extremism and community history. He often writes on social issues and contributes to Bangladesh’s Daily Star.

Archetype (Farhat Amin)
Open Mic performer

Archetype is a poet who uses his experiences to shape his views of the world. He has been performing poetry for just over a year. Alongside this Archetype also raps and sings. His work can be found on

Ayesha Qureshi MBE
Host, creative British Bangladeshi women and the future

Ayesha is a lawyer at a leading international law firm where her client focus is financial institutions. She has a background in media and community relations and was a former director of the Rich Mix Centre. Ayesha worked on the winning bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London and was awarded an MBE in the 2006 new year’s honours list. She advised LOCOG as a member of its Diversity Board and and was the only British Bangladeshi to present at a medal ceremony at the London 2012 Games. Ayesha is the Co Founder and Editor of the British Bangladeshi Power 100 which recognises ‘Talent’, ‘Success’ and ‘Inspiration’ within the community.

Chanda Chakraborty
Open Mic performer

Chandra Chakraborty is one of the finest North Indian vocalist and disciple of Late maestro Pandit A Kanan and Smt Malabika Kanan. She is a National Scholar, Gold Medallist in Thumri and ex-scholar of famous Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata. Chandra has performed almost all over the world including South Africa and Pakistan. She was the principle vocal teacher of Indian Consulate, Johannesburg and a lecturer of Witwatersrand University, South Africa.To know more about Chandra Chakraborty please visit her website at :

CJW- CORR- Jute Works
Stall Holder

CORR-The Jute Works is a registered charitable trust under a board of trustees. It is an organization of women handicraft producers that was established in 1973 to rehabilitate the war-widowed and war-affected poor rural women of Bangladesh. The aim was to provide these women with work at home. Our goal was not only to rehabilitate them, rather to extend them in sustainable development with their family. CORR-The Jute Works was providing the means of income generation for these groups of women through producing handicraft items made out of a locally available raw material jute and other such as grass, leaf, cane, bamboo, clay.

Delwar Hossain Dilu
Participant in Adda session 3

Delwar Hossain Dilu as a theatre actor started his theatre career with the Centre for Asian theatre (CAT) in Bangladesh from 1997. He has participated in many international theatre festivals from this company. He presented a British Council project called Amar Bahanno, a traditional Bangladeshi play at the Contact Theatre in Manchester, UK in 2004. He also participated “Aftershock” a musical workshop with Nitin Sawhney at Newcastle in 2005. Dilu started working with TARA Arts, a London-based theatre company from 2008 and his performances in People’s Romeo, The Demon’s Revenge, A golden Age and Cinderella.  Dilu has also worked in a 3 year Arts and Heritage project for young people called Sailing to Britain. He recently finished a project called Romeo and Juliet with Stage One Dhaka in Bangladesh. He was the assistant Director for LONDONEE written by Gurpret Kaur Bhatti which was performed in A season of Bangla Drama festival in November 2012.

Enamul Hoque
Photography exhibitions & Panel discussion Saturday 23rd with Shahidul Alam & Lisa Aziz

Enamul is a photographer. Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, he has worked on numerous campaigns for Kodak, General Motors, Virgin and Sony Playstation. His photographic work has been featured in various international magazines and exhibitions. He lives in London.   Enamul with designer Matt Moate also works on Underbelly Film. They design and direct moving image and motion graphics for short films, idents, title sequences, virals, promos and video installations. / Twitter

Filiz Ozcan
Participant in Adda session 3 

Filiz Ozcan is a director of Theatre, Festival and a member of the World Arts Platform artist advisory group. Currently she is working for Borderlines at the New Vic Theatre. Filiz has directed Bonbibi in Rich Mix, The Legends of King Arthur for ‘Without Frontiers Festival’ in Poland, Rusalka in BAC and the Cost of Living which toured secondary schools in Stoke-on-Trent. She has worked with World Arts Platform and Broxbourne Council in creating a performance for young children and families, combining traditional stories and recipes from Turkey called Turkish Delights. Filiz was invited to lead Shakespeare workshops as part of the education programme of ‘Gdansk Shakespeare Festival’.

Hannan Majid
Documentary / Film Maker (Rainbow Collective) / Film screening Saturday 23rd

Originally from Dhaka, Majid’s parents migrated to Bradford, England where he grew up. He is a graduate of the Northern Film School in Leeds.  Along with Richard York, Majid runs a documentary production house called The Rainbow Collective.  The Rainbow Collective specialize in creating productions which highlight and deal with children/human rights issues. Their films include “Into The Unknown,” “Skinny,” “AmaZulu:The Children Of Heaven,” “Bafana,” “Not A Muslim In Sight,” and “Homeless.

Hasina Akhter
Fashion/ textile Exhibitor

Hasina was born as the youngest of six children, in London to a trained tailor/engineer and tailor mother.  She grew up around clothes being made on mass which invoked her interest in fashion.  She has interned for London Fashion Week’s designer Ziad Ghanem on many occasions and has completed courses in association with Burberry where she took part in ‘Blows Presents Juniors’ at London Fashion Week in 2009.  She is currently an aspiring fashion designer, studying Fashion Design and Technology at the London College of Fashion.  Due to graduate in 2014, she will gain a specialism in Print and Emroidery.

Dr Imtiaz Ahmed
Host: Panel Discussion on Tagore- Saturday 23rd

Idris Rahman
Tagore & Jazz- Saturday 23rd with Zoe Rahman

Rahman began his music with influences from Bengali folk, film and popular music from the 1950s.[1] His main work is as saxophonist and producer with Soothsayers, a Reggae/Afrobeat collective, which he co-leads with trumpeter Robin Hopcraft. Soothsayers have released four albums and performed extensively throughout Europe over the past ten years. Idris is a regular member of the Arun Ghosh sextet and Johnny Phillips’ group Oriole and, as a clarinettist. He has been involved in his sister Zoe’s “Where Rivers Meet” album and Aidan Love’s “Forty Thieves Orkestar”.

Fashion exhibitor & stall holder

In bengali Jatra means journey…In our case a journey towards all that is colorful. The people and culture of Bangladesh are vibrant. Our journey is to translate that in our art, fashion and lifestyle products. Since 2000 Jatra has promoted and popularized Bangladeshi hand woven clothing and hand made craft products (with the pop Rickshaw/cinema art feeling) to the youth of Bangladesh. Today through Jatra, hundreds of artists and crafts men and women have had the opportunity to make a better living. We believe in supporting our ethical local industries. With 140 million people in Bangladesh, the more work there is the better. Jatra also promotes Bangladeshi folk and fakiri music through live shows in the shops and by selling these audio CD and also helps folk musicians find shows. We also have a team of Rickshaw and cinema painters who go do murals for our customers. We like keeping it colorful! Support our talented designers and crafts women and men by visiting Jatra. Hope you enjoy the journey.  Facebook: Jatra: a journey into craft.

Fashion exhibitor & stall holder

Karigor is a partnership enterprise, established in the year 2006, engaged in producing leather goods, Jute products and Footwear such as ladies bags, Jewellery box wallets, Lady’s & Gent’s sandal .     Leather and Jute are used as basic raw material. Sundry items (partly imported by commercial enterprises) are locally purchased. At this moment, 80% producers are locally sold and 20% is exported and efforts are underway to embark on more expert businesses.     Tania Wahab is the owner of Karigor.

Dr Ketaki Kushari Dyson
Panelist- Tagore Talk

Ketaki Kushari Dyson was born in Calcutta and educated at Calcutta and Oxford. The first Indian woman to gain a First in English Literature at Oxford, she also has a doctorate from there.

She writes in both Bengali and English, and has published over thirty titles in a diversity of genres: poetry, fiction, drama, critical essays, literary translation, and research-based scholarly books. She has also made significant contributions to Tagore research.

She has received various awards and medals including the prestigious literary awards Ananda Puraskar twice, in 1986 and 1997 from Calcutta and in 2011 she received a medal from the Ophthalmological Society of West Bengal for her pioneering work on Tagore’s colour vision.

Khaled Hakim
Musician / Woven air performance launch night

Is co founder and director of silkroads ( an arts organisation which delivers workshops and organises events. He plays the Sufi daf (framedrum) which he learned in the traditional ceremonies of a Sufi Order. He has led workshops at many museums and festivals, and specializes in Turkish Sufi music. In February he will be giving workshops

Kishon Khan
Panel member of Grand Adda- Sunday 24th and player with Lokkhi terra on Sunday 24th

Kishon Khan is a Bangladeshi born British jazz pianist, composer, arranger and music producer. Khan’s interest in music started at a young age in North London. In 1999, he set up an Afro-Cuban funk jazz band after being inspired by living in Cuba in his 20’s. More recently Khan set up Lokkhi Terra, combining Bangladeshi music traditions with African and Latin American traditions. Khan and his bands have toured extensively in the UK and abroad. In 2009, his score fThe Last Thakur, won a Grand Jury award for Best Music at the South Asian International Film Festival in New York.


Leesa Gazi
Host- Grand Adda on Sunday 24th & organiser of all Adda sessions

Leesa Gazi is a writer and actor. She was the script-writer and a performer in ‘Six Seasons’ and ‘A Golden Age’ (Culturepot Global) in Southbank Centre. Her theatre work includes: Sonata, Rokeya’s Dream, Demon’s Revenge (Tara Arts); Ponderful People (Face Front), Bonbibi (Culturepot Global). She performed in ‘People’s Romeo’, which had an 8-week nationwide tour (Tara Arts). ‘Sonata’, adapted by Leesa, was invited to Bangladesh by the British Council. She performed in a serialised adaptation of ‘A Golden Age’ (Tara Arts). Leesa worked as the cultural coordinator and as a voice artist for Akram Khan’s ‘Desh’. She has worked as a script interpreter in the 2012 Globe to Globe festival at the Globe Theatre on ‘The Tempest’. Recently she acted on a play about domestic violence called Whisper Me Happy Ever After (Face Front Theatre), which had a 2 week tour in schools in London and will have another 6 week tour in February 2013. Leesa also works for Train4change as an actor with whom she will be in a film for the charity called WaterAid in January. Leesa hosts a weekly live-phone-in show on Bangla TV (SKY 786). Her first novel Rourob was published in 2010.

Lipi Begum
Host/ panelist of Sustainabe  Fashion on Saturday 23rd & Heritage Textile- Sunday 24th

Lipi Begum is a trend-forecaster, fashion marketing lecturer at the London College of Fashion and MBA lecturer at Trinity Saint David. Currently working on collaborative projects between UNIDO and Bangladesh University of Fashion Textiles to promote the importance of research, innovation and branding. She likes to add Tabasco to everything!

Lisa Aziz
Host of panel discusison with Shahidul Alam & Enamul Hoque on Saturday 23rd

Lisa Aziz started her broadcasting career as a trainee radio news journalist and newsreader at radio city in Liverpool in the early eighties.   From there she joined BBC regional TV in Bristol as a journalist, reporter and presenter and was then poached by ITV, Bristol to be a main reporter and deputy lead presenter.  Lisa got her big break when headhunted to join ITV-AM as a senior reporter and was then made main newscaster shortly afterwards. She went on to join sky news where she was a main anchor for 13 years…before being poached again by ITV news, to head up all news programming in the west country.

Throughout a trail-blazing 25 year career Lisa has also won numerous awards including a tric and an arts and worked for many other organisations including BBC World News, CNBC, Financial Times,  and Dubai TV. She has also run a successful career alongside as a worldwide business corporate host and as a charity campaigner. Lisa brings all her corporate and media training expertise to Zamala and is happiest when helping to inspire trainees into giving their best responses and not falling into any reporter traps!

LoKkhi TeRra
Band performing on Sunday 24th February evening

Lokkhi Terra is a music project created by UK/Bangladeshi musician Kishon Khan – combining Bangladeshi music traditions with those from Africa and Latin America – creating a sound that can truly be called “world music”.    Lokkhi Terra’s debut album, NO VISA REQUIRED, was released last summer through Funkiwala Records – album of the month (Jungle Drums magazine, May 2010), Editor’s Choice (    The band is equally at home in a bustling Latin club as in an Asian Mela. In Feb. 2010, Lokkhi Terra performed at the closing ceremony of the South Asian Games broadcast live through South Asia and returned to Bangladesh in Feb. 2011 to perform in the country’s first World Music Festival. In the UK, appearances have ranged from venues such as Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club to Queen Elizabeth Hall to Passing Clouds.

Masum Reza
Participant in Adda session 3

Masum Reza is a versatile, popular and award winning playwright for both television and stage production in Bangladesh. He started writing plays as a hobby since when he was studying in secondary school. Before finishing his university degree he did establish himself as a playwright in theatre arena. Professional writing for television came in 1996 through BTV (Bangladesh Television). Since then he has been continuing as playwright and received enormous appreciation for his work. He also made his mark writing screenplays for feature film, promotional TV spot, script on development issues and very recently writing novels. He is a constant researcher in his own way and would like to handle more critical, sensitive and insightful issues in his writing to entertain his audience and at the same time contributing his thoughts to most desirable human relationship and social changes. He is the President of TheatreFolks, Oxford, UK.

Recent Awards include:

• Meril-Prothom Alo Critic Award 2007, best playwright television (Modhu Moira).

• Bangladesh Film Journalist Association Award 2005, best screen play (Molla Barir Bou).

• Zakaria Smriti Padak by Theatre 2004, for overall contribution in theatre in Bangladesh.

• Bangladesh Film Journalist Association Award 2003,best playwright television (Ronger


• Bangladesh Film Journalist Association Award 2001, best stage playwright (Nityapurana)

• Cultural Reporters Association of Bangladesh 2001, best stage playwright (Nityapurana).

Mizan the Poet (Mizanur Rahman)
Open Mic performer

A community worker with several years experience in working for charities has been doing spoken word poetry for just under a year and poetry to Mizan is a reflection of his inner thoughts and feelings.

H.E Mohammed Mijarul Quayes
Talk on Tagore- Saturday 23rd February

High Commissioner Mohamed Mijarul Quayes, a career Foreign Service officer, arrived in the United Kingdom on 03 December 2012 and assumed his duties as the High Commissioner of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to the Court of St. James. Prior to his current assignment, he served as the Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh from 08 Jul 2009 to 02 December 2012.   Mijarul Quayes also brings extensive multilateral experience, covering broadly human rights, migration and refugee related issues, humanitarian law, disarmament, environment and climate change. He has been involved in the drafting of two optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (concerning children in armed conflict and commercial sexual exploitation of children) and the Declaration on the rights of Indigenous People. He has served as an Expert Member on the UN Human Rights Commission’s 5-member Working Group on Migrants and Human Rights (1997-1998), and has served on the bureaus of several UN and other international meetings and conferences.

Mr Jones (Salam Jones)
Open Mic performer

A (talented) carpenter by day, writer by night, and poet by nature; currently working on two novels and is considering a radio slot on Betar Bangla to discuss social issues that are currently blighting the British Bengali community, using the poetry to create debate. Mr Jones is also heavily into charity, and run the monthly event Hope N Mic nights, an open mic to encourage local young writers/poets to get creative, and give them a platform to showcase their talent.  All the door money goes to a charity to help the needy of this world, (in this case underprivileged children in Bangladesh).

Dr Muhammed Ahmadullah
Panelist, Heritage textile- Sunday 24th

Secretary of the Brick Lane Circle and currently working on various projects linked to textile & heritage

Mukul Ahmed
Participant in Adda session 3

Mukul Ahmed is a displaced person and carries a dual heritage. He completed the University of London MFA Theatre Directing programme. Mukul has Staff Directed at the National Theatre, England.
He runs ‘Mukul and Ghetto Tigers’. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Mukul likes reading poetry, traveling, cooking and listening to all kinds of music, and occasionally dancing to rhythmic tunes

Mumtaaz (Taz Latif)
Open Mic performer

A Shakespeare groupie of Bengali heritage, throwing down a contemporary twist on classic poetic styles. Employed within the education sector and runs poetry workshops at her school, she aims to inspire the youth of today to seek forms of expression through the powerful medium that is poetry and spoken word. Taking to the stage only recently, she writes on extensions of her own experiences; striving to reach out to every soul in her audience with controversial, yet universal themes. Close your eyes and FEEL her words, don’t just hear them. She’ll bring the truth home!

Musalman Qualam
Open Mic performer

Musalman, that’s Muslimeen, Muslimaan, Musalman…another word for Muslim. Spoken word, not rap, that’s rhythmic rhyming words with precision, spoken word, as old as religion.

Musalman is also keen to build a Muslim men’s creative networks group particularly to create positive images of Islam via Bangladeshi Muslim men, which have an interest to work or be involved in the Islamic contribution to the creative industries.

Nasreen Raja
10 Yards of Benarasi designer- exhibition

Nasreen is a recent graduate from Chelsea College of Art and Design.  Her work emphasises, colour and pattern through creating different moods, which are inspired by her childhood memories and cultural experiences from Pakistan and as a British Muslim living in England.   During the course of her BA studying textiles design, she has spent time developing her digital and screen-printing skills along side her love for different natural and acid dyeing techniques and processes.

Nakshi Kantha
Stall Holder

Established in 2007, Nakshi Kantha is a fair trade organisation dedicated to bring about positive changes in the lives of disadvantaged artisans and underprivileged rural women by reviving and promoting their skills and craft. Reaching out to weavers, potters, brass workers,  jute workers, basket weavers, wood carvers and more, Nokshi Kantha embraces and nurtures a diverse representation of 1,000 artisans, 85% of whom are women. Today, Nokshi Kantha has become the foundation upon which independent cooperative groups and family-based artisans market their craft, in an effort to position the nation’s handicraft industry on a world platform of appreciation and acknowledgement.

Fashion exhibitor

Prabartana is a Bengali word meaning an “Act of promotion”. The task is introduce and. promote the product of handloom weaving and local crafts. It was established in the year 1989 with a very simple objective to promote the products of the local artisans and thereby pave the way toward revitalization of our traditional rural and cottage industries.  Cultural responsibility, ethical production and sustainability are at the heart of Prabartana brand. The main objective of Prabartana is to provide support to the weavers for marketing of their products and to give feedback from consumers about their choices so that the weavers can be updated about changing consumer choices. On the other hand, it also works for consumer education and awareness for development of handloom sectors and creation of direct relationship among producers and consumers.

Rahemur Rahman
Fashion exhibitor

Rahemur Rahman is a fashion student at Central Saint Martins School of Design. Raised in London on the Isle of Dogs, his focus area is menswear tailoring; he has moved into sportswear as well. He has been influenced by designers such as Christopher Shannon, Martine Roseman and Aitor Throup. Taking inspiration from rappers, lyricists and DJs, Rahemur has achieved the gold award as a proud alumnus of The A Team Arts, and continually mentors students, in order to nurture the upcoming generation of designers.


Renegade (Rayhan Meah)
Open Mic performer

Rayhan has performed in several places and is headlining at Newcastle’s Riverside on February 4th for his second CD.

Rezia Wahid
Weaver & designer- performance woven Air’- Friday 22nd; Sunday 24th workshop and Panel discussion on Sunday 24th February with Sanchita Islam, Shapla Salique, hosted by Ayesha Qureshi

Rezia Wahid is an award-winning Bangladeshi-born British textile artist. Wahid’s work consists of inter-cultural threads, from her English upbringing and spiritual Islamic influences using the Bangladeshi technique. Her work has been exhibited both in the United Kingdom and abroad. Wahid was one of the three artists to be selected by the South West Arts Council to celebrate the cultural diversity of Britain. In 2005, Wahid was awarded an MBE, for her contribution to arts in London.

Rifat Wahab
Host – Heritage Talk- Sunday 24th

Rifat Wahhab was born in Bangladesh and arrived in the Uk with her family in 1964. Rifat was the previous Chair of Abbey Community Centre , a settlement charity in South Westminster . She is currently Acting Chair of the Muslin Trust, a new UK based charity that will work with Bangaldeshi organisations to preserve, promote and protect Bangaldesh’s heritage textiles. Rifat is also Company Secretary of Consortium of Bengali Associations.  Educated to Masters level, Rifat has degrees in Librarianship, Womens Studies and Management. Rifat is currently working in the NHS.

Rohima Mirza
Open Mic performer

A pseudo-poet with a love for language and just back from volunteering in Malaysia.

Romel Ahmed
Participant in Adda session 2

Romel Ahmed is a highly accomplished business development professional with fifteen years international project experience, including two years in communication and advocacy within the United Nations. He completed his formal education in 1997 with a Masters degree in Development with a focus on the interplays between Population, Environment and Development from the London School of Economics. Since leaving the UN in 2000, his energies were channelled towards consulting, producing and developing innovative international live event concepts with a particular specialty in outdoor broadcasting for major Sports, Media and Entertainment events in 30 countries. Some of his greatest achievements include his role as consultant to the organizers of the FIFA World Cup – Germany 2006 and UEFA European Championships – Austria 2008, Official Fanzones / Public Viewing events as well as the same for many of the top international film events such as The Cannes, Venice, Berlin and Toronto Film Festivals. Most notable was his creative consultancy during the official celebrations of the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin wall. Nov 2009.

Rooful Ali
Photographic Exhibition- The Art of Weddings

A wonderful exhibition showcasing a collection of contemporary wedding photographs by British-Bangladeshi Rooful Ali, who was shortlisted as an emerging talent in the 2012 MICA Competition at Saatchi Gallery, and listed in the inaugural British Bangladeshi Power 100.

Showcasing the ‘Culture and Colours’, the collection depicts the fusion of Eastern traditions upheld by the British-born couples, through to celebrating all things modern. The images span all that make the big day special through to capturing the emotions in his unique photo journalistic style.

Founder, ALIWAY photography.

Ruhul Amin
Panel member of  Adda 2- Saturday 23rd

Ruhul Amin was born in Bangladesh. His fascination with visual expiration springs form a childhood desire to explore and depict his enchantment with nature and the warmth of a local tribal people ostracised by his own community. In the beginning of 80s he came to Britain with his parents. Within a year while he was at school he made his first doc-drama “PURBO LONDON” since then he joined British film industry and worked as an assistant. Later he attended National Film and Television School.  In 1986 he made his first feature film “A KIND OF ENGLISH” for Channel four Television. The film was shown in the festival around the world and earned a critical acclaim. The film was compared with early work of De Sica and Satyajit Ray.

Rukia Begum
Benarasi silk project designer- exhibtion; fashion exhibitor & designer of Oitij-jo merchandise- panel memebr Saturday 23rd

Graduated from London College of Communication in 2012 in Surface Design. Rukia enjoys all aspects of design & printing but her ultimate interest lies in textile & fashion print. Rukia is inspired by Alexandra McQueen and Matthew  Williamson and their bold prints and colour usage in materials. Rukia hopes to have her own company in design.  Twitter

Ruposhi Bangla

Ruposhi Bangla has been supplying Bengali books all over Britain and Europe since 1974.

They specialise in Bengali books published in Bangladesh and India. Besides Bengali books, we also stock books in English, including translations of Bengali stories, poetry, history, geography, politics, economics and commerce.

Participant in Network Bangla Open  Mic- Saturday 23rd

Saudha, Society of Poetry and Indian Music organizes world-class music concerts, workshops, seminars and festivals on world-poetry and Indian music, mainly classical. It mainly endeavours to establish the subtle bond between lyrical poetry and classical music. Saudha aims to experiment and research the link between musical poetry and poetic music, to hybridize profane and sacred verses and to explore the ways to harmonize the Indian classical instruments and vocal with world musical instruments and vocal music as well.

Chandra is one of the finest North Indian vocalist and disciple of Late maestro Pandit A Kanan and Smt Malabika Kanan. She is a National Scholar, Gold Medallist in Thumri and ex-scholar of famous Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata. Chandra has performed almost all over the world including South Africa and Pakistan. She was the principle vocal teacher of Indian Consulate, Johannesburg and a lecturer of Witwatersrand University, South Africa.To know more about Chandra Chakraborty please visit her website at :

Lyrics of Love: The world-class event endeavours to demonstrate the subtle but strong link between lyrical poetry and classical music. The great verses of Tagore is intertwined with the raga of relevant mood to interpret the meaning and images of celestial music and to propagate the message of love and deep humanism. Chandra Chakraborty, one of the finest Indian Classical Vocalists will be accompanied by impassioned reciter and Troubadour singer Erik Schelander, actress, versatile writer and impassioned reciter Leesa Gazi, prominent violinist Kamalbir Nandra, keyboard player Abu Emran Tonmoy and Tabla player Himansh Goswami.

State of Bengal
Band opening night- Friday 22nd

State Of Bengal is one of the Key Dj / Producers to have emerged from the Cutting Edge British Asian Music scene that emerged in the late 90’s that gave birth to the ‘Asian Underground’ movement. His reputation as one of the most innovative and pioneering artists is still held today as he continues to pushes the boundaries with his varied projects and albums.


Sanchita Islam

Film screening & panelist- Sunday 24th for creative women talk, with Rezia Wahid, Shapla Salique and hosted by Ayesha Qureshi

Artist, writer and filmmaker Sanchita Islam has worked extensively in the Tower Hamlets region since 1999 and has participated widely in exhibitions and screenings, working closely with organisations such as the Arts Council, British Council and Commonwealth Institute. Pigment Explosion creates projects that engage people through painting/drawing, film, books  and photography and aims to reach out to sectors of the public who would not ordinarily have access to the arts. To date they have worked with old people, women suffering from domestic violence, kids living in the slums of Bangladesh, street kids in Jakarta, kids living on the estates of East London and Kuala Lumpur and most recently patients with mental health problems in Brussels.   In 2010 the UK Film Council commissioned the animation film, The White Wall, which has been screened in New York, Brussels and London. In 2012 she exhibited at Shoreditch House, London and Soho House, New York and completed her first solo show at KAOS in Brussels in October 2012.

Shafiur Rahman

Film screening & discussion

Script, direction and camera. Founder of Six Oranges, Shafiur has a background in science and political economy and develops projects around social and political themes.  He is the co-producer and researcher of some award-winning films including Tres Tristes Tigres, Swapnabhumi and Bostrobalikara. Coproducer for Teardrops of Karnaphuli. He is currently UK based.

Shahidul Alam
Photographic Exhibiton & panel discusison with Enamul Haque & Lisa Aziz- Saturday 23rd

Shahidul Alam was born in 1955 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He studied and taught chemistry in London where he obtained a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) from the University of London.  Alam’s work has been shown at leading museums and galleries in the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, The Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris, The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Arts, theNational Art Gallery in Malaysia and the Tate Modern in Britain.   He started photography in 1980 and was awarded the Harvey Harris Trophy for being judged the best photographer of the year by the London Arts Council in 1983. He became the president of the Bangladesh Photographic Societywhere he served for three terms.     In 1989 he set up Drik picture library and in 1998 Pathshala: South Asian Institute of Photography. He is also a director of Chobi Mela, the festival of photography in Asia.[2] Jury member of numerous competitions including World Press Photo where he has been a judge on four occasions, he was the first person of colour to chair the international jury in World Press Photo history.  /

Shamim Azad
Host Adda 3- Sunday 24th

Shamim Azad is a bilingual author, performance poet, storyteller and a tutor for creative writing. She has written plays for theatre and published more than 30 books including novels, short stories and poetry. Azad compiled and produced anthologies of short stories on women’s empowerment, identity displacement, oral histories and heritage. Her performance of storytelling fuses between entertainment and education. She has performed extensively at venues ranging from the Museum of London, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, British Council and Poetry Café in London to the Bangla Academy  and British Council in Bangladesh, to name a few.

Shanaz Plamondon (Kuhu)

Fashion exhibitor

Shanaz Plamondon is a Bangladeshi designer known by the name of Kuhu Plamondom. She studied at the institute of fine arts in Dhaka Bangladesh. Kuhu has a MFA in drawing and painting. Her inspirations lie in the human form and its adornment. It was through figure drawing that Kuhu started fashion drawings. Kuhu works with a process called ‘dye painting’ to colour and treat a fabric, this can take months to achieve. She currently works on commission painting murals, but also designs textiles saris and other garments. Her inspirations come from designers such as Kenzo, Jean Paul Gaultier and Christian Lacroix. Fashion design is an extension of her creative fine art background and she considers her work as wearable art.

Shapla Salique
Singer- opening night Friday 22nd

While Bangladeshi born Farzana Salique ‘Shapla’ was growing up in Tajpur, Sylhet, she would often go to watch her father, uncle and grandparents perform in functions. They were renowned folk singers throughout the region of Sylhet.   It was 1981 when 5 year old Shapla arrived on UK shores, to join her father. She came with her mother Hasna Salique, and two brothers Uchchall and Shochall. The Salique family settled in London’s East End.     Shapla naturally joined Dishari and became the lead singer, specialising in Sylheti folk songs and the work of Kobi Nazrul Islam. In the years that followed Shapla fronted Dishari on numerous albums and TV appearances, as well as performances in the UK, Europe and Internationally. Highlights included performing in front of royalty at the Royal Albert Hall, in aid of Save the Children.   Growing up in London this young artist developed so much zest and passion for music, from both East and West. Although excited by the beats and rhythms of Western mainstream music, Shapla has not forgotten the intricate tapestry of poetic melodies and stories, which are part of the traditional heritage of her homeland. She incorporates all of these into a real appreciation and love of artists who sing with passion, emotion, and power.

Sohini Alam
Singer- opening night Friday 22nd / Lokkhi Terra performance Sunday 24th February

Sohini was born in the United Kingdom and was raised in both London and Dhaka, Bangladesh. She comes from a musical family and was trained by her mother Hiron Alam and by her aunts Jannat Ara and Ferdous Ara. The latter is a leading Bangladeshi exponent of Nazrul Sangeet. Sohini has a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree from Angelo State University in the United States.  As a vocalist, Sohini has worked on music for dance, theatre and film. In addition, she is the lead singer of the fusion bands Khiyo,[2] Lokkhi Terra[3] and After Art. She has performed internationally on stage, radio and television.   Sohini is trained primarily in Nazrul Sangeet but has since branched out into folk, Rabindra Sangeet and contemporary music. While she sings mainly in Bengali, she has also sung in English for After Art, in English/Spanish for Lokkhi Terra and in English/Hindi for Kanjoos The Miser and Bollywood Cinderella.

Sonia Ashmore
Panelist- Heritage Talk- Sunday 24th

Sonia Ashmore’s book, MUSLIN, was published by V&A Publishing in 2012. It is the first global history of the astonishing fabric that originated in the area of South Asia that is now Bangladesh and showcases some of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s large collection of muslins from Asia and Europe. After working in publishing, journalism and art colleges she obtained her PhD in 2000 and has since been a researcher and writer based at London College of Fashion and then the V&A.

Sophia Hyder
Panelist- sustainable fashion- Saturday 23rd

Sophia’s passion in life = incorporating fashion and international development. Her Bengali roots inspired her to develop Evolvemint’s brand in country. Sophia has a BA in Foreign Affairs, University of Virginia, and an MA in International Development Policy, Duke University. She has a black-belt in kickboxing; not many believe it!

Sulthana (Sulthana Begum)
Open Mic performer

From heartbreak to human rights, Sulthana’s poetry explores diverse themes. Though writing since childhood, she only discovered the spoken word scene in the last two years and loves the idea of poetry as an interactive experience. Besides writing and performing, she manages events around and outside of poetry and was Chair of New Audiences at Poet in the City in 2012. Beyond this, she’s an entrepreneur, designer, organiser, adrenaline junkie and scrabble champion with a heavy dose of we-can-change-the-world mentality.

Sunara Begum
Film Screening- Saturday 23rd

Sunara Begum is a visual artist and filmmaker whose work is perfectly placed between East and West. She uses the worlds of Film, Theatre, Photography and Text to heighten people’s experience of the arts and her work seeks to draw out answers from the past to address the present. Sunara’s work challenges windows of perception thereby allowing a shift in approach and attitude towards raising cultural awareness, growth and understanding.

She is a creative who is always seeking to distil experiences down to root truths and unafraid to re-invent her approaches in reaction to necessary change. Though always choosing to indulge her work on a deeply, personal level, she seeks to use the expressions of it all to inspire and enlighten the lives of others universally. Sunara is regularly associated with the commitment to being a voice for the silenced or less heard in our societies, and thus a genuinely, relevant cultural commentator for our modern times; skilled enough to reveal the inner-beauty underneath and behind the surface-obvious, yet humble enough to continually pay attention to and learn from the useful influences around her.  facebook

Tahmima Anam
Panelist- Grand Adda: Creativity- with Akram Khan, Kishon Khan and hosted by Leesa Gazi Sunday 24th Feb, 6pm

Tahmima Anam was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1975. She was raised in Paris, New York City, and Bangkok. After studying at Mount Holyoke College and Harvard University, she earned a PhD in Social Anthropology.

Her first novel, A Golden Age, was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Costa First Novel Prize, and was the winner of the 2008 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book. It was translated into 22 languages. Her writing has been published in Granta, The New York Times, and the Guardian. She lives in London. / facebook  / twitter

Tajul Islam
Tapestry Artist, stall holder

Tajul Islam gathered knowledge on tapestry for a long period 1965-1979 while working as a design assistant of renowned artist Late Rashid Chowdhury. Served as a manager (Design) at Baghdad-Dhaka carpet factory, an enterprise of Bangladesh jute Mills Corporation from 1979 – 2002.

Tajul has received many awards. Most recent being in 2012 when he awarded ’The Best Entrepreneur of Jute Diversified Product’ for the year 2010 by JDBC under  Ministry of Textile & Jute Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

Tara Boath Mooney
Panelist- sustainable fashion- Saturday 23rd

Tara is an artist in residence and associate research fellow at the SMARTlab University College Dublin, Ireland, She holds a BA in Music and Theology from St. Patrick’s Pontifical University, Ireland. She also holds a Masters in Fashion and the Environment from the University of the Arts London.   Most recently, Tara has been invited to Dhaka as a consultant working with UNIDO as part of the Better Work in Textiles and Garments project. Under this project UNIDO is working with the Ministry of Commerce to improve the RMG sector and the BGMEA University of Fashion & Technology (BUFT).    Tara sees technology as a tool or means to facilitate this communication. In her work, she marries elements of technology with craft and it is, she believes, within this area of crossover that interaction, empowerment and creative awareness can take place. Where the individual, the wider community and the environment they are in, co-exist in a series of holistic relationships.

Tootli Rahman
Fashion exhibitor

Tootli Rahman has been creating fashions over the last 3 decades and holding and planning state of the art fashion shows. She continues to bring new ideas and innovation to the event management sector.    Seven years ago, she began producing high fashion sarees, her own label called By Deshi and since then, has mastered the art of fusion. Her exquisite designs promote the artists of Bangladesh and their many talents. Today, her sarees are well known for their hand painted designs, hand embroidery, cutwork, aplique and tapestry. One will often find one of Tootli’s elegant hand painted saris fused with an intricate jamdani.

Tearz (Artist)
Open Mic performer

Tunde Jegede
Film screening & discussion- Saturday 23rd with Ruhul & Sunara

Tunde Jegede is a composer and multi-instrumentalist who is uniquely placed between the worlds of Contemporary Classical, African and Pop music. He is a prolific Producer/Song writer and has worked across several genres both as a performer (Cello, Kora, Piano and Percussion) and producer.  Tunde was born in 1972 and is a product of a cosmopolitan city such as London.    Over the years Tunde has kept his creative diversity intact by working closely with singers, vocalists, and spoken word artists from a wide range of traditions.

UPL Books
Stall holder

The University Press Limited (UPL) is a leading publisher of Bangladesh. It publishes educational, academic and scholarly books both in the English and Bangla languages. UPL was set up as a publishing company in 1974 and it took over OUP’s publishing programme in Bangladesh in 1975. It has since closely collaborated with OUP Oxford and its branches in Pakistan and India. UPL also distributes books of foreign publishers in Bangladesh.

Urmee Majhaar
Host Adda 1- Saturday 23rd

From an early adolescent age she had a passion for acting and poetry recitals, and enjoyed taking  part in various school and college performances.

Urmee played a significant role in developing and creating a platform for Bengali stage drama in London during the late eighties. Being at the forefront of the Bengali cultural movement during this time she worked closely with Ramendu Majumdar, Ferdousi Majumdar, Syed Shamsul Hoque, AsaadUzzaman Nur and other celebrity actors and actresses in presenting stage dramas.

During the nineties, Urmee worked for Sunrise, the first Bengali radio station in the U.K, as its first female DJ. This led to her being involved in fulfilling her vision and dream of starting the first Bengali TV channel in the UK.  Urmee joined Bangla TV, the first Bengali TV channel in the UK in 2000 as producer and presenter. She remained involved in the TV medium and is currently working with ATN Bangla UK.

Urmee’s bold and versatile presentation style has set a high standard for the current Bengali TV channels in the UK and throughout Europe.

Zoe Rahman
Musician- Tagore & Jazz: playing with Idris Rahman on Sat 23rd

Born in Chichester, UK, to a Bengali father and English mother, Zoe studied classical piano at the Royal Academy of Music, took a music degree at Oxford University and then won a scholarship to study jazz performance at Berklee College of Music, Boston, where she studied with the inspirational pianist JoAnne Brackeen.  Described in The Observer as “a remarkable pianist by any standard”, Zoe Rahman has firmly established herself as one of the brightest stars on the contemporary jazz scene. A vibrant and highly individual pianist/composer, her style is deeply rooted in jazz yet it reflects her classical background, British/Bengali heritage and her very broad musical taste. Known for her powerful technique, wide-ranging imagination and exuberant performance, she has become a highly sought-after musician, working most recently with the likes of George Mraz, Courtney Pine and Jerry Dammers’ Spatial AKA Orchestra.  facebook  twitter