My first introduction to the world of TEDx was when I was a meek self-doubting individual. Constantly searching the web for words such as ‘motivation’ and ‘self-confidence’ led me to my first ever TED talk. Being an avid viewer of TED speeches since my first Stefan Sagmeister talk, the disseminated news of the nearby TEDx hosted by North South University, on 7th October this weekend, took me to their doors with much excitement.
Simply put, the experience was truly overwhelming. Upon entering NSU’s AUDI 801, a myriad of questions came to my head. I was wondering whether this event would spark the same level of positivity in me as its predecessors. The regional speakers who came from diverse backgrounds enthralled the audience during the six-hour long event. Among the aspiring thirteen, I was thorougly moved by three of them.
CARICATURES CONQUERING THE WORLD
Satire magazines like ‘Unmad’ in Bangladesh have expressed the emergence of caricatures as a powerful tool to express everyday situations occuring on a national level. Being the Editorial cartoonist for Dhaka Tribune and an associate editor for Unmad alongside, Syed Rashad Imam Tanmoy stressed on how illustrations enables people to express themselves. He delivered his lively speech using a humorous childhood incident that led him to pursue the career he has now. Among the many caricatures that were on display, some depicted the deteriorating road conditions of certain densely populated areas in Dhaka, while others showed the growth of GDP over the death of thousands in the Rana Plaza incident which did a brilliant job in moving the audience; thus, ranking it number three on my list.
HAVE A JUNK? TURN IT INTO ART.
As I go up the pyramid, I was awestruck by the upcycling ideas introduced by the owners of this little initiative called Junk Art. For those of you wondering what ‘upcycling‘ is, let me break it down in the words of the speaker. The Co-Founder Nabila Rahman commenced her speech by defining her love for art and the research she did on upcycling before putting forward her idea of it. She detailed upcycling was different from recycling; in other words, the old rusted objects were not broken down into minute details to be made into something else. Instead, upcycling promoted the idea of using these worn out things as it is by turning them into something creative for the everyday household purpose. This unique idea proposed by the speaker claimed to provide environmental benefits and a creative look into households at a minimal cost.
So, from now on every time you see some junk, turn it into art!
WE ARE HERE TO HEAR
The number one on my list stands as a tie between the two similar platforms that emerged as a safe space for discussing issues that are deemed as taboo in our society. The brilliant ideas put forward by speakers such as Shihab Zafar, Chief Growth Officer at Maya Apa and Rubina Jahan Rumi, Head of Training and Research, surely made their initiatives stand different, setting an inspiring example of humanity and empathy as a whole. In their approximately 15 minutes of speech, they laid out examples of how the power of anonymity brought by these apps and helpline have redefined the horizon for many living under the layers of social stigma. Their demonstration also included scenarios where they detailed how seekers were provided with help, even at the most crucial times such as the point of suicide attempts. They also described how women from rural areas have opened up and placed queries about proper sanitization, menstrual and bodily matters that previously went overlooked by the society. These initiatives surely make us aspire to have a healthier Bangladesh.
Such extraordinary ideas coming from ordinary people, surely made me want to visit the next TEDx, already. So, the next time you hear about a TED event near you, don’t forget to drop by!