She skipped like a little bird as she got to the park. The kids, initially perplexed that an adult would like to join them in the see-saw, soon accepted her as one of them. She then went on the slide and then tottered on the edge of the play ship, and faltered like a scarecrow. She had abandoned her real name Madieheh Mirhabibi and called herself Maya.
She’d wondered why people hated Afghanis, and went off on her own to Afghanistan to find out. Living and working with the Afghans she outgrew here prejudices, and back in Tehran, began working with Afghani refugees. It was soon obvious that they were perfectly at ease with this unusual woman in their midst.
Drik wins book of the year award for 2011 at the Asian Publishing Convention 2012 in Kuala Lumpur in the category Best Insights into Asian Societies (non-fiction)
The award is given to a book that leads to better understanding and insights into Asian economics, politics, social and environmental issues. The award was received by?Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir on the 30th November, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Mutiara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The acceptance speech:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Drik today would like to thank the Asia Publishing Committee for this recognition and UNHCR Bangladesh for their support in this endeavor. Thanks are also due to the core team and many others who contributed to the production of this book.
However, this award belongs to the brave and courageous people portrayed in this book and the twenty photographers from Bangladesh, France, India, UK and USA who themselves took risks to document the events.
The Bangladeshi War of Liberation, like all other wars, has a contested history. The number killed, the number raped, the number displaced, are all figures that change depending upon who tells the story. But the visual record is a testament to the resilience, the powerful spirit and dignity of the people who were caught in this war.
It is our wish that the younger generation will be inspired by the powerful spirit and courage of the people of Bangladesh. Coming after 40 years, we remember them today, with both a tear and a smile. Thank you.
More information about the book
Photo: Don Mccullin
By Sharmin Ahmed
Winston Churchill said, ?History is written by the victors.? And when history is one-sided, it becomes a propaganda instrument. Archiving is a form of respecting not only history but the truth, and it is with the motive of promoting the truth that documentation of history must be done. ?Archiving 1971?, a programme by Drik to collect oral, textual and visual resources to establish a one stop repository of the historical 1971 War of Liberation for Bangladesh began on that promise
The aim is to bring together a team of researchers, social scientists, historians, archivists and other professionals to assemble definitive archives of this important chapter in the country’s history. The 10-year plan includes not only collating materials from across the world but also generate the economic resources necessary to build permanent physical archives. It will help academics, researchers and others to make rigorous analysis and draw inspiration from the repository.
Continue reading “Archiving 1971”