Artwork of drawing on orange-tinted paper. Of a person with longer hair and moustache, wearing jewellery and make up. Holding a flamingo and drawing on their hand delicately.

About Epiphania Visuals: When Speech is Forced Down, Art Must Speak

This group exhibition presents the work of artists and activists from Bangladesh. It is curated by Dipa Mahbuba Yasmin, founder of Epiphania Visuals Gallery & Archive - the first queer art gallery of Bangladesh.

The artists in the exhibition have chosen to remain anonymous, this is to protect their identity. Same-sex relationships are illegal, and the British colonial ‘Sodomy Law’ is still intact in Bangladesh. As a result, gender and sexual diversity are still illegal under their criminal code and although the law is not systematically applied, there is significant harassment, public exposure and stigmatisation by the police and the media towards LGBTQIA+ communities.

Themes explore gender identities including asexuality, gender and sexual diversity, and queer experiences through art, film, painting, and craft. Although many of the artists are not formally trained in the field of fine arts, their art has nonetheless acquired a unique and powerful visual language. It also serves as a means of strong collective activism. Through their work, the artists reflect themselves and their surroundings, addressing different views of gender politics.

MAC is proud to be presenting the artists’ work and we are grateful to them for their willingness to share their experiences and raise awareness of the huge difficulties facing many communities of queer creatives across the world today.

Presented in partnership with Arts Council England and Transforming Narratives and as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival.

Anonymous artist, Explore a queer model, 2022.