Britto Arts Trust at documenta fifteen

18 June – 25 September 2022, Kassel, Germany

Project description

The Bagri Foundation is pleased to support the project of Dhaka based Britto Arts Trust for documenta fifteen. An artist-run non-profit collective founded in 2002, which is part of the Triangle Network of international artists and visual arts organizations, it has a global reach. 

Britto Arts Trust work extensively in different locations across Bangladesh and attempts to understand the country’s socio-political upheaval by exploring missing histories, cultures, and communities and collaborating with various partners.

Britto seeds and promotes multiple interdisciplinary practitioners, groups, and networks. It provides an international and local forum for the development of professional art practitioners, a place where they can meet, discuss, experiment, and upgrade their abilities on their own terms. In response to the lack of suitable educational institutions in Bangladesh, Britto functions as an alternative learning platform for many artists who have gone on to produce highly experimental work.

Over the past few years, Britto has concentrated on large-scale, long-term projects focusing on socio-political issues and engaging communities and participants from various spheres. One example is ZERO WASTE-FoodArt, which was established during the coronavirus pandemic. Since March 2020, this initiative has worked with a number of artists and art collectives to create socially responsible projects at various locations in Bangladesh and abroad. Starting from its connection to local roots, histories, and communities, Britto engages with international events, such as the organization of the first Bangladesh Pavilion at the 54th Biennale di Venezia in 2011.

documenta fifteen

For the 2022 edition of documenta, the Jakarta-based collective ruangrupa has worked with an international group of collectives and organisations on the values and ideas of lumbung. lumbung, which directly translates as “rice barn”, refers to a communal building in rural Indonesia where a community’s harvest is gathered, stored and distributed according to jointly determined criteria as a pooled resource for the future. As a concrete practice, lumbung is the starting point of documenta fifteen: principles of collectivity, resource building and equitable distribution are pivotal to the curatorial work and impact the entire process — the structure, self-image and appearance of documenta fifteen.

The collective’s way of working is based on an alternative, community-oriented model of sustainability in ecological, social and economic terms, in which resources, ideas or knowledge are shared, as well as social participation. The idea of sustainability is also comprehensively considered in the exhibition planning in all its manifestations.

Image credits: The Mural Project (working time), Studio Mahbub Lipi,  2021. Photo by Tayeba Begum Lipi. Photo Courtesy: Britto Archive