"Subculture vulture" - Where in the world would you like to go?

October 1, 2017

Inshra S Russell

One good thing about doing a liberal arts degree is that you learn about culture, and specifically subcultures. Mine was in Fashion Photography at London College of Fashion. Teddy boys, New Romantics, Punks, Skinheads, many styles, many influences boiled together in my mind as I attempted to contextualise.  While grasping western subcultures, I realised that the same must be happening at home continent. What was happening at home, in Bangladesh?

You just have to look at the art, films and music coming out of Bangladesh now to see the change in fashion and culture. Festivals like Chobi Mela, Dhaka Art Summit and Dhaka Lit Fest have put famous talented stars on the plane straight to Dhaka City to attend. Bangla hip-hop is on the radio and all over youtube, and artists like Black Zhang are representing at the Alchemy Festival, UK. The Milkshake Collective in Dhaka is a bunch of quirky, creative young artists and entrepreneurs making waves…and cakes! The energy around all this is electric, and I feel it as soon as the plane lands in Dhaka.

We have been fortunate to work with an energetic young artist, the lovely Humairah Shams aka The Left Handed Wildflower. She has a warm, contemporary style that blends together bright colours with a watercolour textures. Her typography is both script and modern influenced, with bold and friendly strokes. Right now she is working away on our English alphabet flashcards inspired by countries and capitals.


Where In The World? is 26 flashcards with names of countries for each alphabet. Each flashcard has a map of the country. it’s capital city and fun features dotted in. It’s a fun way to learn about countries and their cultures and Humairah has been meticulously drawing and painting all the elements. 


The last time I visited Dhaka was last November, and I made it to the Folk Music Festival and the Lit Fest. Besides the burst of hijabi fashionistas with their funky scarf twists and thick eyebrows were the handsome hipster boys with well-groomed facial hair and man buns on top of their heads.  I wonder what will be on the radar this year?




Halfway to launching Guba!

August 31, 2017

Inshra S Russell

Guba Publishing was conceived in 2016 and birthed in 2017, which is why this is such an exciting year for us. We have managed to put things together enough to plan our launch in November, at the Dhaka Literature Festival.

In fact, founder-fantastic Raya Rahman has just returned from fruitful a trip to Dhaka. Meetings with printers, illustrators, lawyers and inspirational people means that Raya is now a happy bunny, looking towards a future with a basketful of fun prospects. She will no doubt fill you in with the juicy details...or keep it all a secret, you’ll have to ask her.

As for Inshra here in London, the wet weather, instead of curbing, has satiated the cup of creativity drop by drop. Lists of things to do have been ticked off, dinner has been made and the feeling of satisfaction hovers tantalisingly in the air - almost within reach. That’s a rare feeling so I had to record it.

So our wonderful consumers of culture, we have a bunch of things in store for you. The Guba Podcast, our online freebie will be up and running soon and we would love to hear your thoughts on what you want to hear...to feed your thoughts. As for me, I return to the life away from the laptop, the other real one.