“In the short film Kudhi Bari, the architect Marina Tabassum works alongside residents of Bangladesh’s small desert sand islands, or “chars,” to build tiny houses. The structures, designed to withstand the elements, look like tree houses with metal roofs. Tabassum envisioned them for these communities, where residents have been made landless and houseless by Bangladesh’s coastal monsoons. The houses are mobile, so that they can be moved when monsoons next hit.

Though the film depicts a world far from California’s Mojave Desert, the landscapes look surprisingly similar at times: the sunset glowing orange over an expanse of sand, the low brush growing along a desert floor.

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Of the 12 artists included in this year’s iteration of the Desert X biennial, Tabassum is the only one who will not have an artwork on the ground, though she will travel out later this spring to give workshops. “Rather than present this object here that wouldn’t do anything for anyone, we wanted to present her imagination and kind of spark people’s imaginations,” explained Diana Campbell, who curated Desert X 2023 alongside artistic director Neville Wakefield, at a press conference earlier this month. “How can we use our imaginations and the materials that are around us to build in the face of a housing crisis?””

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[Read the full article at artnews.com]