The protests at Shahbag in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka have come alive through the lens at an exhibition in the city depicting the different moods and ambience of a movement described as that country’s war against fundamentalism.
“The exhibition, the first of its kind to be held outside Bangladesh, is significant for both the people in the city and the movement back home,” said Tanvir Mokammel, noted Bangladesh author and internationally acclaimed film-maker, to The Hindu here.
“The display of aesthetically pleasing and politically loaded images in the city is very assuring and provides strength to those who are part of the movement in Bangladesh,” he said.
Comprising about 70 photographs taken by author and academician Pulak Chanda, the exhibition tries to capture the “youthfulness” of the movement and the emotions that went into making it a success, said Mr. Mokammel who is also Director of the Bangladesh Film Institute.
esides the photographs, recordings of the songs sung and slogans raised by the protestors at Shahbag Square are being played at the exhibition, “Sanudyata Shahbag” (Uprising at Shahbag), that will continue up to April 13.
While events to express solidarity with the Shahbag movement have been organised in Kolkata, the exhibition is a different approach to highlight the issue.
“I was awestruck by the participation of youth, particularly women, in the movement. The posters speaking of the different moods of the people participating all gave a very unique character to the protests” Mr Chanda said.
Stating that the apolitical, well-organised, peaceful nature of the movement is a “learning experience to civil society” in the country, particularly West Bengal, he said that through the exhibition he is trying to make people aware of the unique nature of movement in the neighbouring country.
The ripples of the Shahbag movement have been felt in the city over the past few weeks with artistes, intellectuals and students participating in discussions, cultural events and rallies to express their support to the movement. Events like ‘Long Live Shahbag’ and ‘Kolkata Besides Shahbag’ that were organised earlier this week in the city saw participation of people from all walks of life.