January 5, 2017: 6:30am-6:51pm
12 hours, 21 minutes
live performance + time-lapse + durational video work of the same length

Bangladesh was chosen for the fifth work in the series was chosen to contrast with Western ideas about sea-level rise and expose a different perspective. The Primary partnership with Britto Arts Trust of Dhaka, which was developed over 18 months. Despite significant warnings from the U.S. State Department about security threats, Sunde chose to follow through with plans and followed recommended protocol to stay out of the public eye.

Sunde and the incredible team from Britto coped with sickness, loss of equipment and other documentation challenges. This reinforced the importance of working with a local cinematographer and film crew.

There was lots of music: mandolin, khamak, drums, and the call to prayer, that added so much to the project. The “Human Clock” movement phrase was adapted into traditional Bengali form. Saint Martins Island is two miles from the Bangladesh / Myanmar border so there was a new resonance with the contemporary refugee crisis and seeing water as a means of survival. Many local stories were collected and are part of the 36.5 video archive.

36.5 / Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh

St. Martins Island, 5th iteration
by Sarah Cameron Sunde

with Britto Arts Trust and Bangladesh Environmental Network
Tayeba Lipi & Mahbub Rahman (curators)
Saiful Wadud Helal (cinematographer)
Reetu Sattar & Nasir Ahammed (producers)
Shahriar Shaon & Abu Hena Timu (cameras)
Fahmida Sumi (dance and camera)
Syeda Firoza Khanom Rumi (assistant)

with deep gratitude to all the local participants on Saint Martins Island, especially Islam, who spontaneously joined us to play his mandolin, our dear scuba-diver friends, and the family that took us in; and thanks to everyone around the world who helped make this happen: Piama Habibullah, Naeem Mohaiemen, Naseem Parvez, Sufian Khondker, Nazrul Islam, Mohd. Abdul Matin, and Md. Shahjahan Mridha.


Due to the political situation in Bangladesh, we chose to keep this iteration under the radar and did not seek out press. 


Following the screening at Britto, the 36.5 / Bay of Bengal durational video work (12 hours, 21 minute) has been exhibited together with 36.5 / North Sea (12 hours, 46 minutes) during Works on Water, an inaugural triennial at 3LD Art & Technology Center, New York City, June 2017 and at Yellowfish Durational Performance Art Festival in Seattle, Washington, 2018.