Bangladeshi born Shelina Begum founded the cultural enterprise Chai Journal in 2012, which is a curating and publishing platform for creative talents from South Asia and the Middle East. Using her history in the fields of fashion, luxury fine jewellery, and the art world, she is also an emerging curator and visual consultant.
If there was one piece of art you could feature in, which would it be and why?
I would love to feature in a Steve McCurry photograph. His works are so beautiful, uplifting, and emotionally affecting. He uniquely captures something behind human eyes.
Who inspires you and why? An artist, a family member, someone current or historical?
“Everybody has a creative potential and from the moment you can express this creative potential, you can start changing the world” – Paulo Coelho. I am very much inspired by people who believe in themselves and work hard to get to where they want to be. As a creative entrepreneur, I’ve found what I love through my inner journey and I now gain strength and motivation through inspiring people around me.
What are your cultural aspirations? What do you still want to see, do and achieve?
I would love to continue exploring the soul of Asia and Middle East and discover more amazing sights of historical art and culture.
What are your favourite cultural cities in the world and why?
I love Kerala - ‘Gods own Country’. The beautiful landscapes, culture, traditions, cuisine, and tranquility remain an idyllic destination for those seeking rest and relaxation.
What are you up to at the moment and where can we find it?
I’m currently developing my cultural enterprise Chai, Journal of International Arts that engages with emerging ideas in the arts, design and culture, reflecting in particular on the diversity within contemporary society. Evoking the chronicles of the silk route, this enterprise has been set up with the specific aim of promoting a publishing and curating platform for established and emerging creative talents from the Eastern regions and to provide a critical context for debate. May 2014.