EMK Center, an American space based in Dhanmondi, has celebrated the 9th founding anniversary of the center on 30 September with day-long programmes both at the center and virtually. The celebrations included inaugural screening of a short film, opening of an exhibition, virtual discussion and experience sharing and musical performance.
The US ambassador to Bangladesh, Earl R Miller joined the celebration virtually and shared his remarks as the chief guest of the night. Professor Dr Shamsad Mortuza and Professor Imran Rahman were among the special guests.
Terming EMK Center as a flagship American Space in Bangladesh ambassador Miller lauded EMK Center organising over nine hundred events last year with the participation of around sixty thousand people.
"Over the last nine years, EMK Center has truly embodied the friendship between our two great nations and it has become an important incubator and safe space for the young people wanting to learn how the United States and Bangladesh collaborate with public and private organisations, networks, individuals and the artists.," said ambassador Earl R. Miller in his speech on the occasion.
"EMK has become a gold-rated cultural hub in the region," said Professor Dr Shamsad Mortuza, the acting Vice-chancellor of University of Liberal Arts. He also appreciated the efforts of EMK Center throughout the pandemic and lockdown to keep youth engaged though different activities.
Professor Imran Rahman, Special Advisor to the Board of Trustees of the University of Liberal Arts, referring to some of the key initiatives of EMK Center to promote cultural activities and entrepreneurship appreciated EMK Center for its youth centric activities. "Particularly Dhanmondi should be proud to have EMK Center because it is one of the best magnets for young people to gather in Dhanmondi," said Professor Imran Rahman.
The Acting Director of EMK Center, Asif Uddin Ahmed thanked the stakeholders of EMK Center for their support and the EMK team for keeping EMK Center on track amid COVID 19 pandemic and the lockdown, even in a time when some of the team members were infected with COVID 19. In addition to that, he emphasized on the importance of understanding the mindset of audience and said, "We constantly tried to understand how the audience are thinking and what do to look for and what are the demands of the youth of today and keeping the theme intact, we always designed our programs accordingly."
The founding day celebration began with the inaugural screening of Moyna, a short film directed by Uzzal Kumar Mandal. The movie is based on the short story of prominent Bangladeshi novelist and writer Abu Ishaque, titled "Moyna Keno Koyna Kotha" and evolves around the events of Bangladesh's liberation struggle, murder of intellectuals and independence.
The film screening was followed by the inauguration of the exhibition Songs of Fishermen by artist Mong Mong Sho. The exhibition is about the life of fisherman in coastal areas of Bangladesh. The inauguration was attended by Professor Alak Roy of Department of Fine Arts at University of Chittagong and Bishwajit Goswami, Assistant Professor at the Drawing and Painting Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts of Dhaka University. Among other guests there were artist Kanak Chanpa Chakma.
The founding anniversary discussion followed the exhibition inauguration which was broadcast live over the EMK Center's Facebook and YouTube platforms. EMK small grant awardee Siffat Sarwar, co-founder and advisor of Bangladeshi startup ShopUp, artist Munjerin Rimjhim and participant of EMK initiative Women Techpreneur shared their experience with the audience.
The program was concluded with the musical performance of promising band "Embers In Snow", led by Rakat Zami.
EMK Center was established in 2012 and is co-managed by ULAB and American Center of the US Embassy, Dhaka. The EMK Center honours the legacy of public servants worldwide, exemplified by the men and women who fought for Bangladesh's independence in 1971, and by US Senator Edward M Kennedy, who was moved to take action then and throughout his life in support of his convictions.