InvisiBellas in Dhaka

Street Art Break in VR

Tom Nickel
8 min readJan 21


author selfie from Street View

The social VR app, Wander provides an extensive set of Collections, selected Street View locations for interesting sights around the world.

Most of the Collections feature the beauty of nature, but there is also a Street Art Collection — which is where I found this mural in Dhaka. It was not what I expected to find on the streets of Bangladesh.

The mural is made up of at least twelve separate works featuring women. Each one is strong. Each one can draw you in. Each one tells a story about women, sometimes very explicitly, right out on the streets.

In fact, most of the paintings are about subjects NEVER discussed right out on the streets.

author selfie from Street View

The woman on my right had acid thrown in her face. Acid attacks happen to women every day, mostly in southern Asia. This form of aggression against women is not an artifact of the past. It is present now and it is on the rise.

In the mural, she is out in public, not hidden away in shame. She looks beautiful.

Other women break through walls or fight with demons or reveal secret inner dreams.

They all raise questions. Any one of them could be the center of a good discussion, which is exactly what Street Art Break in VR is for.

But in the back of my mind is a bigger question — how did these expressive depictions of topics usually not expressed become public art in Dhaka in the first place?

The Google camera made high-resolution 360 degree images of the mural from the top of the Google car driving along Solmaid Road in 2016. More images were recorded by individuals who then uploaded their pictures to Google Street View and some of these were attributed to, ‘InvisiBellas.’

I googled it and ‘InvisiBellas — Global Shapers Dhaka Hub’ was the top listing.

The homepage identified ‘InvisiBellas’ as a street art project from 2016 in Dhaka. A group of 15 contributing artists worked for two days in early March to fill a long wall in a neglected neighborhood with images of gender discrimination and inspiring visual narratives of female empowerment.

That is, or was, InvisiBellas.

The project also had a Facebook page with pictures like this in the Photos section

image from Facebook Group Page

That is a high quality publicity graphic, in my opinion. I love it. It would make me want to go. And people did, even though the exhibition was located in a part of the city not known for art exhibitions.

There are posts on the Facebook page for about a year, ending in May, 2017. InvisiBellas was a project, with a beginning and an end.

Global Shapers is an on-going community. I had never heard of them. It is identified on its homepage as a “network of young people driving dialogue, action, and change.”

Dhaka is one of 481 Hubs. It’s goal is “to make Dhaka a more inclusive city.” It has five current projects and 23 individuals shown on the website as Members.

The Global Shaper’s Story describes the growth of this youth network and soon presents a section titled:

Shapers and the World Economic Forum

“Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, founded the Global Shapers Community to empower young people to play an active role in shaping local, regional and global agendas.”

Usually, significant world thought leaders like Schwab like to represent their creations as a collaborative process, but here it is simply stated that, he did it. That’s nice. Then what?

The World Shapers celebrated their 10th Anniversary a few years ago. They have an Alumni Association. They are housed at WEF HQ in Geneva, Switzerland and fully supported. As stated in the Global Shapers Story:

“The Forum’s contribution to the Shapers organization includes significant financial and in-kind contributions for operational support including staff time, technology tools and opportunities to interact and collaborate with its membership network.”

We are getting closer, but we have not yet answered the question:

Why did a Wall of Female Empowerment Street Art Happen in Dhaka?

A conspiracy is a bunch of people doing something together secretly. There is nothing secret about the World Economic Forum. The organization is very cleat that the world needs a reset, they know how to do it, and they are doing it.

The Great Reset is underway. It was launched in June, 2020 with a video featuring then-Prince Charles stating that there is no alternative. In the second sentence the man who is now King of England describes the world we are Resetting-To in the three words recited like a mantra by all Great Resetters:




If those words once had generally-shared meaning, they don’t any more. They are just coded abstractions to salute or dis. Or disguise intentions behind nice-sounding ideals.

What does Green even mean? Sustainable at what price and who pays that price? Inclusive on whose terms? These are not well articulated ideas we can make critical judgments about.

When the WEF says they are for Green, Sustainable, and Inclusive, we do not really have any idea what they are for. Not through those words anyway, but maybe through other words.

Klaus Schwab has been gathering people together who think more or less like he does for years at Davos, specifically to teach and learn what words to say in the coming year. He does not hide the core WEF assumptions that:

  • a connected planet needs to be ruled by global organizations, and
  • those global organizations need to be private and corporate because that’s what works

Of course countless claims have been made about conspiracies that really are secret, or semi-secret, involving WEF. There is probably some truth in some of them.

Explosive revelations are not needed for people to see what the WEF is trying to achieve. What is demonstrably happening under the Reset banner is enough. They tell us what they are doing as they are doing it.

Schwab acknowledges that Capitalism has a Problem. He doesn’t quite say Capitalism is the problem, but all Resetters know Capitalism itself needs a make-over. And, like all growth-oriented ideologies, Capitalism’s solution to this big Problem is … More Capitalism!

Their new phrase for it is Stakeholder Capitalism — note the upgrade from Shareholder Capitalism, once aggressively implemented by GE’s Jack Welch and many other icons of the 1980s, in which Shareholder return was the undisputed measure of Value.

In the new Reset World, all Stakeholders, like civic organizations, schools, corporations and governments will matter. Governments will be sharing sovereignty. Strategic Relationships will be forged in a massive new world governance model being implemented as you read these words.

Governments, for better or for worse, will be just another player.

There you go! How do you like it?

I don’t believe I have editorialized directly or indirectly as I tried to answer an obvious question about Street Art in Bangladesh. I just followed the money.

What do you think?

Is King Charles right? Is there no alternative?

If he is wrong, what would an alternative look like?

Image from InvisiBellas Facebook Group Page

Maleena Gomez painting, ‘Aparajaya’ would always have a place in any new world I’d like to imagine.

‘Aparajaya’ is a Sanskrit word, so I’m already in over my head, but I understand it to mean both Invincible and Lovely.

It’s an inspiring painting and Klaus Schwab paid for the paint. He also paid for the high quality publicity graphics. Does that matter? I’d say, ‘Yes and No.’

I appreciated the painting before I knew anything about a Dhaka Hub of Global Shapers with major WEF involvement.

Now I understand that by creating Civic Youth Organizations in major cities throughout the world, WEF is creating Stakeholders. Corporations will cut Strategic Partnership deals with genuine grass-roots civic groups — that they gave birth to and nurtured.

That’s what I call a plan.

What about the strong expressive pro-female content?

Maybe all the WEF cares about is the network of Stakeholders itself. A street art project was just a project, gone in a few years anyway. Klaus didn’t personally sign-off on an acid attacks painting.

Or maybe he did, or maybe someone only one link away from him did.

Why would WEF want strong female content on a wall in Dhaka? So they can point to it and say, ‘see we’ve been on-board with women for years’? Maybe. And maybe WEF doesn’t mind shaking up existing state-religious governance a little in a massively populated poor country, one of the most threatened by social instability from rising sea levels.

I don’t know. But if I were Klaus I’d be working a long game at weakening States and especially States bound in large part by Religion. Right now, States are the Final Authority in all sorts of life and death matters.

After the Great Reset, States will no longer be the Final Authority in anything.

If everything goes according to plan.

The section of Solmaid Road used for the InvisiBellas Exhibit looks almost exactly the same now, but the art is faded and scribbled over and long gone. The neighborhood does not look any less neglected in 2022 than it did in 2016.

InvisiBellas looked like a local project but it wasn’t. Money from Switzerland was allocated for publicity and for producing the Exhibit itself, not for an on-going street art collective or further projects to address the issues raised in the murals.

Art can lead, but something has to follow. On Solmaid Road in Dhaka, nothing has so far.

Image by David Denton

I am not a Globalist, a Nationalist, or a Centrist. I find the micro governance principles of Anarcho-Syndicalism attractive but I have no idea how they could be implemented. I understand the corporate form as an artificial intelligence (AI) with imperatives that benefit humans only accidentally.

My heroes are Marshal McLuhan, Buckminster Fuller, and Socrates. The older I get, the less I know, which I demonstrate regularly on Medium and Sub-Stack.



Tom Nickel

Learning Technologist focusing on VR, Video, and Mortality … producer of Less Than One Minute and 360 degree videos