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The Making of an Institution — Reason to Exist: The Director’s Review. Talk by Diana C. Betancourt (United States/Philippines/Bangladesh), Curator-in-Residence

8 Mar 2017, Wed 07:30 PM - 09:00 PM
The Single Screen, Block 43 Malan Road

As Dhaka Art Summit (DAS) enters its fourth edition in 2018, Diana C. Betancourt reassesses the landscape for cross-border artistic initiatives in South Asia addressing the urgent need to research the history of institutional building in the region, specifically in Bangladesh as it emerged from East Pakistan. Betancourt will speak about differentiating DAS by looking back while building forward, beginning new programs to foster Bengali critical discourse and forge deeper inter-Asia dialogues while also opening up new networks and channels for art education. 2018 also marks the opening of the Samdani Art Centre in Sylhet (Bangladesh) and Betancourt will explain why this collecting institution chooses not to use the word “museum”.

This talk is part of the public programme of The Making of an Institution.


Diana C. Betancourt (United States/Philippines/Bangladesh) is currently Artistic Director of Samdani Art Foundation and Chief Curator of Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka, Bangladesh, a major research and exhibition platform for art in South Asia. In addition, Betancourt is Artistic Director of Bellas Artes Projects, Bagac, Philippines. She has collaborated with several sculpture parks across the world on commissions of Indian sculpture and has curated numerous solo projects with artists such as Haroon Mirza, Simryn Gill, Tino Sehgal, Lynda Benglis, Shilpa Gupta, Shahzia Sikander, Naeem Mohaiemen, Runa Islam, Shumon Ahmed, Pawel Althamer among others.

Image credit: Rana Begum, No. 473, commissioned by the Samdani Art Foundation for the Dhaka Art Summit 2014. Courtesy Jhaveri Contemporary.