Ah it has become an annual thing this…thanks to everyone for their emails and sms. I should put on my D&G shades and in best film-maker style wave and blow you all kisses.
So it was our press day today 28th November for Swapnabhumi - The Promised Land. The public show was a sell out. Response has been very positive and some people are even “ecstatic.” LOL.
Seriously though, our documentary comes at a critical point for the Bihari community. Only yesterday the High Court asked the authorities why the Biharis should not be enrolled on the voter-list. It is our hope and wish that our film will make a difference in some way. This film is an appeal for “acknowledgement”…in the biggest sense of that word. And its an appeal to start here and move on.
Hopefully those of you outside Bangladesh will see it soon. Check the web site for details. http://www.swapnabhumi.com - yeah ok, it isnt done it…no fault of our redoubtable designer the great Catalin Dantis, designer for Porsche and owner of two male turtles. Rather, the fault is mine and my hospital-filled timetable.
All that means is that for a minimum layout the US will get to create some brand awareness in a muslim country. This is how USAID describes it
Clear evidence of the value of the increased visibility of foreign aid came in the aftermath of the 2004/2005 U.S. tsunami relief effort, the first time USAID’s new “brand identity” was used publicly. According to a State Department study, in 2004, favorable opinions of the U.S. were at record lows in many Muslim countries. But, in early 2005, favorability of the U.S. nearly doubled in Indonesia (from 37 to 66 percent) thanks to the massive delivery of — for the first time “well branded” — U.S. foreign assistance. A Pew Research study confirms this: “Positive opinions of the U.S. in Indonesia, which had plummeted to as low as 15 percent in 2003, also have rebounded to 38 percent. The U.S. tsunami aid effort has been widely hailed there; 79 percent of Indonesians say they have a more favorable view of the U.S. as a result of the relief efforts.”
And given the noise being made by some US based Bangladeshi bloggers about this american aid, no doubt the branding will succeed …at least as far as the hearts and minds of these US based bangladeshi bloggers are concerned!
Aarong has been decorating Dhaka with these mammoth-sized posters. Sorry I have not given any sense of scale in this camera phone snap. This is actually quite modest in size compared to some they have which each fill an entire side of a multi-storied building. Billboard space must be quite affordable. And I for one am very glad.
Here is a picture of one side of a room in which I am imprisoned. This is our ‘editing suite’ and pictured is Nur, our assistant editor, at the helm. Deadlines seem to come and go. I have given up looking at the calendar. Yesterday after a thirteen hour stint we only managed to…..
And I managed to escape for a while and visit Nando’s in Dhanmondi- the South African grilled chicken restaurant chain - with my wife and kid. (I wrote about it briefly earlier before it had opened). The decor is really outstanding. And I am afraid that is the only positive thing I have to say.
The staff unfortunately wear RAB style bandanas around their heads. They look silly. Unlike Nandos I have been to elsewhere, you are served at the table. Service was not fast. And when the chicken did come, it was underdone. I sent it back. And the grilled chicken does not taste likeit does in Nandos in dear old Durban, South Africa or indeed any other Nandos anywhere. The chips are not chips. There are no olives to start with or nuts. And the portugese roll is a joke. Totally crap experience. I should have remained chained in the editing suite…