I am starting this project with the hope that people across the globe can help me identify and hopefully trace as many people as possible in these photographs. I shall be regularly uploading images and linking them up with my social media. Please comment, link, tag, share these images and help me locate the people in them. Please also feel free to share insights into the situation, particularly if you happen to have been present.
I would like to complete this by 2021, when I would like to curate a major show to commemorate 50 years of Independence. Please feel free to send me pictures to. Please try to provide as much information as you can about the photograph and the photographer. Ideally we would like all the photographs to be credited.
Thanks for your help.
Here is the first image. It was taken by one of our finest photojournalists, and a dear friend,?Rashid Talukder. The photograph was taken on the 10th January 1972, when Mujib returned to an independent Bangladesh upon his release from captivity in Pakistan. The person dangling from the jeep with the Rollei hanging is another famous Bangladeshi photographer Aftab Ahmed:
UNTIL 1971 Pakistan was made up of two parts: west and east. Both Muslim-dominated territories were born out of India?s bloody partition 24 years earlier, though they existed awkwardly 1,600km apart, divided by hostile Indian territory. Relations between the two halves were always poor. The west dominated: it had the capital, Islamabad, and greater political, economic and military clout. Its more warlike Pashtuns and prosperous Punjabis, among others, looked down on Bengali easterners as passive and backward. Continue reading “The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide.”
Jabbar Bhandari was a freedom fighter. He fought with Kader (Tiger) Siddiqui in Tangail. ?He now makes a living as a Baul Singer.
A Freedom Fighter Sings of 1971 from Shahidul Alam on Vimeo.
He had also conducted operations in Kaderpur and Haluaghat. Now much of his time is spent around Suhrwardy Uddyan where the deed of surrender was signed in 1971. ?I found him slowly walking along the photographic exhibition on 1971 we had orgasised. He would stop and peer intently at each photograph. I asked him what he was looking at. ?I am looking at myself he said. It is me you have photographed.? ?I asked him what he thought of Bangladesh now. Whether he still dreamt of the Bangladesh he had fought for. ?He replied wistfully, ?It?s good we are free.? Then he paused and said. ?Sometimes I dream. Sometimes I don?t.?
I have never seen him since.
Foreword by Shahidul Alam
?Kill three million of them,? said President Yahya Khan at the February conference (of the generals), ?and the rest will eat out of our hands.?
The executioners stood on the pier, shooting down at the compact bunches of prisoners wading in the water. There were screams in the hot night air, and then silence. (Payne, Massacre [Macmillan, 1973], p. 50, p 55.)
There were to be no witnesses to the massacre. The foreign journalists had all been sent back. The media had been taken over.. Those of us in East Pakistan, Bangalis, Paharis, Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, were all labeled Kafirs. The genocide was to be presented as a holy war. They expected no resistance to ?Operation Searchlight? They couldn?t have been more wrong. The brutality was unparalleled, but so was the resistance. Continue reading “The price of freedom. Foreword”
7 November?at?09:00?until?3 December?at?17:00 in UTC+10
This documentary photographic exhibition presents historical photographic overview of the Bangladesh war of independence in 1971.
The Bangladesh war of independence was one of the bloodiest conflicts in living memory. An incredible list of talented and deeply dedicated photographers from all across the globe responded to one of the greatest humanitarian crises of recent times. This included several Bangladeshi photographers; some professional, some amateur. Unlike their western counterparts, these photogr
aphers worked on their own, taking huge risks as they were themselves amongst the persecuted. Their documents are an indictment of those who caused the pain and the ones who let it happen. They are a tribute to those who fought valiantly.
Shown for the first time in Australia, this unique archival collection embodies the pride of Bangladesh?s struggle for independence, the pain of loss, the humiliation of being violated and the joy of victory.
Opening night: 6.30pm Wed 07 Nov
Presented by Drik, UQ?s Centre of Communication and Social Change, School of Journalism and Communication, Griffith University?s Queensland College of Art (QCA) and Brisbane Powerhouse
Drik intern Nabil Rahman gains top spot in “Clip of the Week” at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism New York, with his beautifully produced video “The Refugee Perspective”
by Nabil Rahman
The Muslim minority in Bihar, India migrated to East and West Pakistan after the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947. During the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, a large number of the Urdu-speaking Biharis took sides with West Pakistan. After the Pakistani Army evacuated the new-born Bangladesh, the Biharis were left behind. Bangalis saw them as traitors, and refused to accept them as Bangladeshis. They were placed in dozens of refugee camps across the country. Meanwhile, Pakistan claimed that there weren?t much similarities culturally or historically with the Biharis other than a common language. They claimed to see no reason to accept such a large number of people. Even though, they are referred to as “stranded Pakistanis,” most of them have never been to Pakistan. The newer generations of Biharis in Bangladesh are slowly starting to lean more towards a Bangladeshi identity. But Urdu is spoken by most at the camp, and some of the newer generations are also trained to read it. There is no common consensus amongst the refugees. Some still want to go to Pakistan. But a growing number of people just want to become officially recognized as Bangladeshis and enjoy the same privileges as everyone else.
Produced for DRIKNews Version produced for DRIKNews:
Related posts A muktijodhdha speaks Many faces of war Bangladesh 1971 The war that time forgot
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.