April 16, 2008

Bangladesh 1971

"They had risked all to hold on to this moment in history. The scarred negatives, hidden from the military, wrapped in old cloth, buried underground, also bore the wounds of war. These photographers were the only soldiers who preserved tangible memories, a contested memory that politicians fight over, in their battle for supremacy. These faded images, war weary, bloodied in battle, provide the only record of what was witnessed. Nearly four decades later, they speak."
- Renowned Photo Journalist Shahidul Alam spells out these words to introduce us to the photo exhibition on the Bangladesh's liberation war. Shahidul's photo agency Drik is behind this with the partnership of Autograph ABP. and this is being held at Rivington Place, London EC2A 3BA, until May 31.

Bangladeshi writer Tahmima Anam writes in the Guardian a review of the exhibition:
The contradiction between exalting and forgetting persists in Bangladesh, where the war remains a contested space, still charged 37 years later with an emotional and psychological intensity that brings to life William Faulkner's words "The past is never dead, it is not even past". Yet these complexities are captured in a photograph taken by Naib Uddin Ahmed of a woman - one of the birangona - obscuring her face by clutching a thick mass of her own hair.
The Guardian has published a 12 page photo gallery containing images being displayed in the exhibition.

The exhibition is also accompanied by the Bangladesh 1971 Film Season. So those who are in London should not miss this opportunity. Also check out our effort - the Bangladesh Genocide Archive to learn more about the war and the genocide.


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