JO-LO-JO Mural Design Competition 2021: Celebrating Murals in Natore

Text by Kaniz Fatema

Mural paintings have been around as long as people, as a form of valuable testimony of life from prehistoric times to today. Any form of artwork has a story to tell, but murals undoubtedly tell a series of stories.

For an upcoming lakeside development project, Singra Pourashava and are jointly organising a ‘Mural Design Competition’ titled ‘JO-LO-JO’. Starting from online idea submission to final voting by the locals, the competition is a mode of celebrating murals from 9 to 30 December.

As the title suggests, the competition’s theme is predominantly water and lifestyle influenced by water. Water moulds landform, customs and therefore life itself in the delta. There is water; therefore, we are. We revere water in its many manifestations. Hence, we celebrate all instances where water interacts with the delta, in colour, verse, and song.

Located in Natore, Chalan Bill exhibits a vividly dynamic relationship between water and life. The seasonal transformations of this area inspire occupation, culture and ways of life to a large extent. In dry season, the low-lying planes of the area appear as cultivation fields where ducks rest and cows graze. Showering in monsoons, the entire landscape transforms into a waterscape, flooded bank to bank.

Incorporating the mentioned theme and scenarios, contestants of this competition are required to design murals for seven separate wall panels. The individual panels must be cohesive in theme, colour scheme and overall expression and style. Contestants are encouraged to arrive at their own interpretation of the theme.

The final part of the event will take place at Singra Pourashava, Natore, near Chalan Bill. The seven panels are situated against the boundary walls defining walkways beside a canal and will be backdrops for sitters open to the public and be defined by overhead metal frames.

The competition is open for all. Participants are to propose mural designs for the walls adjoining the lakeside. Submissions may be individual or in groups of up to three participants maximum. Each participant or group can submit only one design proposal by 23 December, and it must contain plans for all seven panels to qualify. Three to five entries will be shortlisted for online voting mostly by the citizens of Singra Pourashava, depending on the quality of artwork and implementability. Among them, one winner will receive a certificate and a prize money of BDT25,000 and the artwork will be implemented in the development project.

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