The [Hi]stories of Chotto Desh
2 September 2022
Thanks to the experiences and emotions generously shared, we could imagine a narrative where the adult Akram faces the resistance his child-self had to his parents’ homeland, relives the push-and-pull between parental expectations and personal dreams
- Karthika Naïr
The full text of Chotto Desh [Hi]stories.
DESH – and Chotto Desh, its younger version adapted for family audiences – began with a promise, one made by a son to his mother. Years ago, early in his career, Akram Khan had promised Mrs. Anwara Khan he would make a piece on the country of her birth, Bangladesh. Akram intended to keep his promise, but life kept happening, other projects kept coming in the way… Then one day, it all started coming together. Akram met visual artist Tim Yip, someone he had admired for long. Tim, agreeing to collaborate with Akram on his next work, suggested it should be an exploration of his parents’ roots: Bangladesh. It was time to keep a promise. To go on a journey.
And that is what we did. The entire creative team met for the first time in Bangladesh, travelling together for ten days through November 2010 to discover many of the voices, faces, places that compose the country.
Now, in this strange, unprecedented moment of physical isolation and danger, when memory and emotional nearness and beauty are our magic wands for sanity, we remember them.
Now, when Chotto Desh will be streamed in an attempt to share something that gave us so much joy and warmth, it seems fitting to share also our memories of those voices and faces and places, the ones that compose DESH and Chotto Desh in ways both visible and invisible.