Storytelling with Saris Presents SUSTAIN at the Line Hotel and Unity Park

By Editorial Team on May 23, 2022

Wed, 01 June 2022 - Thu, 09 June 2022

Courtesy of Storytelling with Saris.
Public Art Installation and Soundwalk Viewing Dates: June 1-June 9, 2022, open 24 hours
Dedication: Thursday, June 2, 2022, 7 pm, followed by poetry slam and light show
Film Screening: Friday, June 3, 2022, 8:30 – 10 pm
Poetry and Pastries: Saturday, June 4, 2022, 10 am – noon (at Line Hotel Terrace & Farmer’s Market)
Walk-through Tours with Artist: Sunday, June 5, 2022, 3 – 5 pm
Closing & performance: June 9, 2022, 6 pm

All events free and all dates are weather dependent. See updates at http://storytellingwithsaris.com/events/.

A colorful installation of 24 saris and immersive soundwalk in Washington DC marks 10 years of the collaborative climate justice project Storytelling with Saris. Led by Bangladeshi American artist and climate activist Monica Jahan Bose, SUSTAIN connects communities across the globe on issues of food insecurity, climate change and gender equality.

Monica Jahan Bose presents SUSTAIN, a public art project that brings together communities in Washington DC and her ancestral village of Katakhali in Bangladesh to create saris and a soundwalk about food insecurity and the climate crisis. Curated by Sarah Tanguy, SUSTAIN is a collective response to sustainability featuring community-sourced poetry and art on saris with a special focus on urban and rural eco-agriculture. Co-created with women farmers from Bose’s endangered coastal village and DC participants, the 18-foot-long fuchsia and aqua saris wrap around the six grand columns of LINE DC’s façade and form a welcoming passageway at Unity Park in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. Other highlights include a soundwalk, poetry slam, and film screenings about sustainable practices and the impacts of climate on agriculture and food security.

“We are living on an overheated planet marred by war and authoritarianism, and I am frightened sometimes when thinking about the future. Now, at the ten-year mark of Storytelling with Saris, I continue to find purpose in creating communities and stories of resistance through saris, poetry, songs, and film,” notes founder Monica Jahan Bose.

The culmination of public sari and urban gardening workshops and visits to open green spaces in Washington, DC and Licking Creek Bend, an organic farm in rural Pennsylvania and regular at the Farmer’s Market, SUSTAIN draws attention to climate change and its greater devastation to women and communities of color across the globe. Melding tradition and innovation, Bose designed new woodblocks of seedlings, rice fields, bicycles along with coconuts as indicators of sustenance and adaptability, which her collaborators applied to handwoven cotton saris, a natural and archival material that symbolizes the cycle of life and predates colonization. The companion sonic compositions interweave poetry, music and songs in Bengali, English and ASL with ambient sounds of water, wind and birds taking audiences on an imaginative journey.

“Bose’s passionate commitment to the planet is an inspiration, and I am thrilled to be part of the project.” Tanguy explains: “As Bose broadens the meaning of family and matriarchy, she and her growing team of collaborators create a sweeping, collective portrait and open up new possibilities for renewal, empathy and care.”

This project is funded by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, Public Art Building Communities Grant Program and supported by community and media partners Boathouse, The Line Hotel, Licking Creek Bend Farm, Adams Morgan BID, We Act Radio, WPFW 89.3FM, and Moms Clean Air Force.

About Monica Jahan Bose: Monica Jahan Bose is a Bangladeshi American artist and climate activist whose work spans painting, printmaking, performance, film, public art, and interdisciplinary projects. Her socially engaged work highlights the intersection of climate, racial, gender, and economic injustice through co-created workshops and temporary public art installations and performances. Her solo projects and performance/installations have been presented at such venues as the MACRO Contemporary Art Museum (Rome), the Bangladesh National Museum, Art Asia Miami, Twelve Gates Gallery, the Brooklyn Museum, the DUMBO Arts Festival, (e)merge art fair, SELECT Art Fair Miami Beach, UNESCO (Paris), and the Smithsonian APA Center (Honolulu). She is the creator of STORYTELLING WITH SARIS, a long-term art and advocacy project with her ancestral village of Katakhali, Bangladesh. Her work has appeared in the Miami Herald, the Washington Post, Art Asia Pacific, the Milwaukee Sentinel, the Honolulu Star Advertiser, the Japan Times, and all major newspapers in Bangladesh. She has a BA in the Practice of Art (Painting) from Wesleyan University, a post-graduate Diploma in Art from Santiniketan, India, and a JD from Columbia Law School.

About Sarah Tanguy: Washington, DC-based Sarah Tanguy is an independent curator and arts writer, who believes in hands-on, face-to-face collaboration with artists and the power of art to connect with the general public and our lived experience. Beyond generally themed exhibitions and collections, many of her projects have explored the intersection of art with such topics as science, food, tools, and books, inspiring new ways to engage the world around us. Recent exhibitions include Reveal: The Art of Reimagining Scientific Discovery at the American University Art Museum and Traces at The Kreeger Museum, both Washington, DC; and Synergy Unbound, the last of an ongoing series at the American Center for Physics, College Park, MD. From 2004-2019, Sarah was a curator for Art in Embassies, U.S. Department of State, where she curated over 100 exhibitions and 12 permanent collections featuring U.S. and host country artists for U.S. diplomatic facilities overseas. The daughter of a U.S. diplomat, Tanguy holds a B.A. in Fine Arts from Georgetown University, and a M.A. in Art History from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Location:  Line Hotel Façade and Unity Park, 1770 Euclid St NW