An old piece, but worth reminding us that the problem remains.
While Bangladesh, rightly prides itself in sheltering refugees from Myanmar, its human record towards its own citizens remains deeply troubling.
Photographs by Shahidul Alam, text by Lyndall Stein
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
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 in our attempt to be on the ?right side? of history, we often forget those who ended up on the wrong side. Those who have gone, those who were permanently scarred, mentally, physically, socially, don?t really care about our statistics. The eyes that stare into empty space, knowing not what they are searching, the frail legs, numbed by fatigue, drained by exhaustion, yet willed on by desperation, the wrinkled hands, seeking a familiar touch, a momentary shelter, longing for rest, do not care about the realpolitik of posturing superpowers.
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”