“Midnight’s third child” is a polite translation of the Bangla phrase: chagol’er tritiyo baccha lafay beshi (the goat’s third child jumps more). The sentence suggests that the youngest needs to strive for maternal sustenance, and it also proposes a clarity of purpose from being the last born. Bangladesh has existed under three signs– “East Bengal” under British India until 1947, “East Pakistan” under United Pakistan until 1971, and “Bangladesh” after the liberation war of 1971. Given these movements, reversals, and renewals, the idea of Bangladesh remains contingent and contested. Cultural workers can reinforce essentialist ideas around this, or they can choose to challenge majoritarian views. The people, projects, and conversations in this anthology frequently take on a role of speaking back to power.
An anthology of essays by Naeem Mohaiemen on artists and movements, with introductory essays by Tanzim Wahab and Zirwat Chowdhury.