Liberation War Museum
Several renowned cultural organisations hosted various events across the country to celebrate the 52nd Victory Day of Bangladesh with festivities. Organisations and institutions, namely Bangla Academy, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), Chhayanaut, Liberation War Museum (LWM), Sammilita Sangskritik Jote, Bangladesh Udichi Shilpigosthi and others hosted cultural shows and discussions at different venues on Friday and Saturday. The festivities in the city began with a three-day ‘Bijoymela’ organised by Bangla Academy on December 15 at its Nazrul Mancha. State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid inaugurated the event, which was comprised of a seminar on December 15 at the Abdul Karim Sahitya Bisharad Auditorium. Bangla Academy staff alongside its Director General poet Nurul Huda placed floral wreaths at the National Martyrs Memorial on Victory Day, and the ‘Bijoymela’ was concluded on Saturday. Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) staff and artistes also placed floral wreaths at the National Martyrs’ Memorial and organised several cultural events throughout Friday. The cultural shows comprised patriotic songs, recitations, dance and a special performance segment with child artists at the Nandan Mancha on the BSA, featuring child artistes from Sporsho Braille, and a dance recital by differently abled children’s troupe Karishma Cultural Group. Returning after two years since its maiden edition in 2015, cultural institution Chhayanaut organised a programme at the Dhaka University Central Playground featuring solo and group songs, recitations and dance recitals. The event was on a hiatus due to Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and Dhaka University Birth Centenary events in 2021. Read more: Cultural orgs celebrate Victory Day amid festivities Chhayanaut artistes performed eight group songs and two solo songs compiled with dance recitals, and recitations by Jayanto Chattopadhyay at the event. The festivity concluded at 4:31 pm with a group song performance along with the audience, marking the exact moment when the Pakistan Military surrendered to the allied forces of Bangladesh and India in 1971.
On the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Bangladesh, the Japan Foundation in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan in Bangladesh will organize a traveling exhibition titled “Photographic Images and Matter: Japanese Prints of the 1970s’’ at the Liberation War Museum. The event will be inaugurated on Friday (September 16), and will remain open to visitors till September 29, except Sundays. State Minister for Cultural Affairs K.M Khalid will inaugurate the exhibition as the chief guest and eminent artist Professor Syed Abul Barq Alvi will be present as special guest, along with Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki, according to the Japanese Embassy in Dhaka.
A three-week photo exhibition titled "Amra Rohingya" or "We are Rohingya" organised by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in partnership with the Liberation War Museum (LWM) began on Sunday at the Temporary Gallery of LWM, Agargaon in the capital.The exhibition is taking place to mark this year's World Refugee Day, showcasing photos taken by Rohingya refugees and allowing for an intimate look into what life is like for people living in the largest refugee camp in the world.Based on the Rohingyatographer magazine showcasing the photographs of ten talented Rohingya artists living in refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, this exhibit allows visitors to learn more about the individuals who have found refuge in Bangladesh, after fleeing violence and persecution in Myanmar. Read: Rohingyas to stage demo on SundayThis photographic exhibition explores themes of memory, hope, dreams, faith, beauty, craftsmanship, grief, loss, and love among the Rohingya refugees through 50 photographs.Curated by David Palazón, Sahat Zia Hero, Amena Khatun and supported by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, the exhibition features photography by Sahat Zia Hero, Ro Yassin Abdumonaf, Shahida Win, Azimul Hasson, Md Jamal, Abdullah Khin Maung Thein, Hujjat Ullah, Enayat Khan, Md Iddris and Omal Kahir.Additionally, 11 photographs from the Liberation War Museum archives have generously been included, showing the lives and stories of Bangladeshi nationals, who in 1971 were forced to flee and live as refugees, during the Liberation War.
The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience has stood with its founding member, the Liberation War Museum, in calling on the United Nations General Assembly and other international entities to formally recognize the Bangladesh genocide of 1971- one of the darkest, yet most overlooked chapters in human history. In a release issued on Thursday, the organization expressed its solidarity with Bangladesh in this regard. Read:1971 Genocide: FM says it’s a shame for Pakistan The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience is a global network of historic sites, museums, and memorials that is dedicated to promote and protect human rights around the world. The 50th anniversary of the liberation urged all institutions and individuals concerned with justice and human rights to officially recognize the Bangladesh genocide and its profound impact on Bengalis past and present. “It is only through confronting the past with honesty and courage that we can acknowledge our shared humanity and truly flourish,” reads the release. Despite ample evidence of torture and extermination, the lack of formal international recognition of the Bangladesh genocide has meant that - fifty years later - no Pakistani war criminals have faced prosecution. This lack of accountability undermines human rights for all and is particularly painful for Bengalis. Not only are they denied justice, but a central component of their history is being erased, making closure and more peaceful futures out of reach. The Liberation War Museum has worked tirelessly for decades to raise global awareness of the genocide and honor its victims through a variety of platforms, including memorials at the sites of mass killings and the establishment a national museum dedicated to the genocide and its legacies. The museum's long history of engaging young people across Bangladesh through the collection of oral histories, mobile exhibits, cultural performances and other means ensures that younger generations will remember this history and its crucial lessons that must never be forgotten. Read:One-min blackout to mark Genocide Day tonight Additionally, in 2014 the museum established the Center for the Study of Genocide and Justice, which promotes research, documentation and education on genocide, as well as commemorates its victims. The genocide in 1971, a brutal campaign by Pakistan to suppress the Bengali independence movement, was carried out over a nine-month period. Millions of Bengalis were displaced to India and at least 200,000 were victims of sexual violence. While the reported numbers of those who died in the genocide varies there is no doubt that it took a huge toll in terms of death. Those who were targeted are also not in dispute: Bengalis, Hindus, intellectuals, artists, doctors, lawyers, students and others supporting independence.
A month-long exhibition titled “Humanitarian Principles: Here and Now” will begin at the Liberation War Museum on Tuesday morning. It will contain information and photographs highlighting the humanitarian engagement of the ICRC and Switzerland as well as humanitarian principles in action in Bangladesh, in 1971 and beyond. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen is expected to attend the opening ceremony as the chief guest. State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Md. Enamur Rahman , Ambassador of Switzerland to Bangladesh Nathalie Chuard and Head of Delegation of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Bangladesh Katja Lorenz will also attend the event. Also read: Curtain rises on photography exhibition 'Bangabandhu in Sculptures and Murals' COVID protocols will be maintained, wearing of masks will be mandatory and all are requested to keep the vaccination certificate or PCR negative report acquired in the past 24 hours alongside. The exhibition will jointly be organized by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the ICRC, Photo Elysée in Lausanne and the Liberation War Museum, Dhaka. After the formal opening ceremony, the exhibition will remain open to all until February 24 from 10am to 5pm, except Sundays. This unique exhibition contains photographs and films through which artists share their vision of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence and examine the impact of humanitarian principles from a fresh, local and contemporary perspective, said the organizers. Also read: Azizee Fawmi’s solo art exhibition ‘Ka-Shommondhiyo’ starts at La Galerie Humanitarian crises around the world make news headlines every day. The images associated with these tragedies are often related to tears, suffering, hunger, desperation, loneliness, separation, desolation etc. Sometimes people feel helpless or overwhelmed by all these images of crisis, violence, armed conflicts and natural disasters. The contemporary art installation “Humanitarian Principles: Here and Now” is a reaction to these feelings. Humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence are indeed the compass to guide any humanitarian action that intends to provide aid and relief to millions of affected people, said ICRC. These principles, and the values they entail, are the foundations and objectives of humanitarian action, and what gives it its universal claim, it said. The exhibition aims to provide the visitors with a better understanding and deeper insight into the significance that humanitarian principles have in everyday life and presents a space for dialogue on humanity. END/UNB/MK/F 1843
French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed his happiness over the exhibition of photographs taken in December 1971 by French photographer Marc Riboud that is taking place at the Liberation War Museum in Dhaka. In a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the French President said the photos soberly illustrate, with great humanity, the events that led to the independence of Bangladesh. Marc Riboud had then spent a month with the "Mukhti Bahini", the freedom fighters, and was one of the very first to enter Dhaka, freed on December 16th 1971, Macron mentioned. Read: Unesco-Bangabandhu Prize: Hasina to visit France in mid-Nov "These unique pictures show the admirable courage of Bengali people defending their freedom, their language, their culture, responding to the call of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rhaman," the letter reads. They also witness the interest of France and French people for a determined nation and a country full of promises, as André Malraux expressed right after the declaration of independence, according to the letter. "I am pleased in that regard that this exhibition also contributes to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries that followed very closely the end of the war, as well as a never disproven relationship of trust and friendship," President Macron mentioned in his letter addressed to Prime Minister Hasina. The solo photography exhibition titled "Bangladesh 1971: Mourning and Morning" by Marc Riboud began on October 16. Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Ambassador of France to Bangladesh Jean-Marin Schuh joined the inaugural session of the exhibition. It is a unique exhibition of never-before-seen photographs taken during the Bangladesh Liberation War. Read: Talha new Bangladesh Ambassador to France Fifty photographs are put on display for the exhibition. This exhibition is being held on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh's independence. Marc Riboud passed away in Paris in 2016 at the age of 93. The majority of his archives were given to the National Museum of Asian Arts - Guimet in Paris. The ongoing exhibition will remain open to all till November 16. Visiting hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 5 pm (closed on Sunday).
Commemorating the life and works of the iconic French photographer Marc Riboud, best known for his photojournalistic works in Bangladesh during the 1971 Liberation War, a month-long solo photography exhibition titled ‘Bangladesh 1971: Mourning and Morning’ was inaugurated on Saturday at the Liberation War Museum (LWM), Agargaon in the capital. Jointly organised by LWM and Alliance Française de Dhaka (AFD), the opening ceremony of the exhibition was joined by Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen as the chief guest. French Ambassador to Bangladesh Jean-Marin Schuh attended the inaugural event as the guest of honour, while AFD’s newly appointed director François Grosjean, LWM trustee and member secretary Sara Zaker, exhibition co-curator Mofidul Hoque and LWM trustee Dr Sarwar Ali joined the programme as special guests. Lorène Duret, the other curator of the exhibition, alongside Catherine Chaine Riboud, widow of Marc Riboud, virtually joined the inaugural event from France. “This is surely a remarkable day for us, as we are celebrating the never-seen-before magnificent photographic works of Marc Riboud during our 1971 Liberation War. Our Ministry of Foreign Affairs will always be there if any sort of support is needed, for the acceleration of this wonderful exhibition,” FM Dr Momen said at the ceremony. He added, “As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we have been implementing initiatives such as Economic Diplomacy which demonstrates the roadmap of our economic activities and achievements, and Public Diplomacy, to let the world know about the remarkable progress of Bangladesh that we achieved in the past 12 years. We have established a ‘Bangabandhu Corner’ in each of our diplomatic missions, to let the world learn about the sacrifices our Father of the Nation made; as well as the unique and tragic sacrifices of our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.”
Narrating the extraordinary tales of Bengali voyager Hariprabha Takeda, also revered as the 'first Bengali modern woman of Dhaka', a travel documentary titled "Hariprabha Takeda: an unsung traveller of Bengal" was screened on Saturday, 5 pm at the Liberation War Museum (LWM), Agargaon in the capital. Produced by traveller and documentary filmmaker Eliza Binte Elahi, the Rashik Barikdar directed documentary’s inaugural screening was joined by Japanese Ambassador in Dhaka Ito Naoki as the chief guest. LWM trustee Mofidul Hoque and Dhaka University’s Department of History Bangabandhu Chair Professor Muntasir Mamun were also present at the inaugural screening as the special guests. Praising Eliza Binte Elahi’s effort behind producing the captivating story of the first Bengali modern woman of Dhaka, guests and audiences lauded the documentary film after its inaugural screening at the LWM auditorium. Read:Hasina seeks Japan’s support for early solution to Rohingya crisis “On behalf of our Embassy and all the Japanese people, I wholeheartedly thank Eliza for initiating the documentary, which must have faced difficulties in the making under this Covid situation. You have dealt with the subject which goes beyond the border for Bangladesh, so this is a cultural story regarding the cultural exchange between Japan and Bangladesh. I was really stunned while watching this documentary," ambassador Naoki said at the event. "I learned about the story of Hariprabha Takeda three months ago, when I attended the Cosmos Foundation’s virtual dialogue on "Bangladesh-Japan Relations: Prognosis for the Future" from renowned Bangladesh scholar Monzurul Huq, who really emphasized the significance of Hariprabha’s story, and the history of Japan and Bangladesh; the friendship and partnership between the two countries, and the people to people exchange. She was a really courageous woman, a pioneer who overcame the difficulties of her time. Though there are cultural similarities between Japan and Bangladesh (rice culture, fish eating culture etc) which might have helped her to get familiarized herself in Japan, nonetheless, her story is truly fascinating,” Naoki said at the event.
Different cultural organizations in the country observed the National Mourning Day, marking the 46th death anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by holding a variety of virtual and hybrid-format events on Sunday. Organizations including Bangla Academy, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Bangladesh National Museum, Bangladesh Abritti Somonnoy Parishad, Liberation War Museum, Bangladesh Sangeet Sangathan Somonnoy Parishad and others streamed cultural programmes and discussions on their official Facebook pages. Read: Bangabandhu’s life, sacrifice being showcased in NYC's Times Square Bangla Academy arranged a webinar featuring State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid, National Professor and the academy’s current Chairman Rafiqul Islam, Liberation War Museum trustee Mofidul Hoque, recitation artist and Sammilita Snagskritik Jote’s General Secretary Hasan Arif, singer Timir Nandi, recitation artist Rupa Chakrabarty, and Ministry of Cultural Affairs Secretary Md Abul Monsur. Poet Nurul Huda, Director General of Bangla , delivered his welcome speech at the webinar, which was hosted by Bangla Academy Secretary AHM Lokman. A handful of online events were organized by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), marking the National Mourning Day on its Facebook page. As part of its events, BSA organized a virtual programme on Sunday night which was joined by State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid as the chief guest. National professor and Bangla Academy Chairman Rafiqul Islam, Cultural Affairs Ministry secretary Md Abul Mansur, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy secretary Asaduzzaman, Bangla Academy Director General poet Nurul Huda, and Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee assistant general secretary Dr Nuzhat Choudhury were present as discussants at the event, which was presided over by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy director general Liaquat Ali Lucky. Thespian and former Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor, Dhaka University Pro-Vice Chancellor poet Dr Muhammad Samad, poet Nirmalendu Goon, Indian-Bengali singer Mitali Mukherjee, poet Kazi Rozi, singer-composer Naquib Khan, poet Asim Saha, singer Timir Nandi, poet Tarik Sujat, and others performed in the online cultural programme followed by the discussion, moderated by media personality Dr Abdun Noor Tushar. Read:Inspired to protect the values Bangabandhu stood for: India BSA has also launched a six-day virtual drama show on Bangabandhu on its Facebook page and YouTube channel. Performed and recorded by District Shilpakala Academy in Chittagong, Kushtia, Thakurgaon, Manikganj, Moulvibazar and Barguna, the opening day drama titled ‘Rajnityr Kobi’ was presented by Chittagong District Shilpakala Academy at 8 pm on Sunday. Liberation War Museum uploaded a tribute video titled “August-er Bishonno Bikel” on its Facebook page, as a homage to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Directed by trustee of the Liberation War Museum Mofidul Hoque, the video features a recitation by former Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor reading from the late Syed Najmuddin Hashim’s writing, and Bhaskar Bandyopadhyay reciting Rabindranath Tagore’s poem “Pother Sheshe” which was synchronised with dancer Sudeshna Swayamprabha’s dance recital, choreographed by Sharmila Bandhopadhyay. Bangladesh Sangeet Sangathan Somonnoy Parishad organised a webinar, streamed live on its Facebook group featuring writer-columnist Abdul Gaffar Choudhury, thespian and International Theatre Institute (ITI) President Ramendu Majumdar, and Bangladesh Sangeet Sangathan Samannay Parishad President Tapan Mahmud. The speakers spoke on the life and works of Mujib at the programme, which was anchored by the General Secretary of the organisation Biswajit Roy. Bangladesh National Museum organized a hybrid discussion ceremony at its Sufia Kamal Auditorium. State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid, President of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) and former vice-chancellor of Dhaka University Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique, Ministry of Cultural Affairs Secretary Md Abul Monsur virtually joined and spoke at the event, among others. Read:Nation observing Bangabandhu’s anniversary of martyrdom in a somber mood The discussion was chaired by Khandaker Mostafizur Rahman, Director General of Bangladesh National Museum. Several other cultural organizations, educational institutions, television channels and radio stations also arranged multiple discussions and cultural programmes, commemorating the life and works of the Father of the Nation and his family members.
The 9th edition of Liberation DocFest has been postponed because of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases around the country. Organisers of the event, originally scheduled for April 6-10, recently announced the postponement on Facebook. “Due to Bangladesh Government’s decision to go to nationwide lockdown because of escalation of covid pandemic again, Liberation War Museum, the organiser of Liberation DocFest decided to temporarily postpone the festival,” the post reads. Also read: ‘Highways of Life’ takes top prize as 8th Liberation DocFest concludes DocFest is an annual initiative dedicated to the documentary cinema to highlight the struggle for liberation and human rights of people in various parts of the world and its contemporary significance. A new schedule for the event will be announced soon, the organisers said. However, the ‘Exposition of Young Film Talent 2021’, a storytelling lab for documentary filmmakers will take place on Wednesday and conclude on April 10, as per its schedule. Also read: Liberation DocFest: Enthralling tales from home and beyond “We had to postpone this year’s Liberation DocFest at the very last moment due to the recent surge of COVID-19 and the subsequent nationwide lockdown. This prompted the trustee members to postpone the festival but the storytelling lab will continue online as per its schedule,” Md Shariful Islam Shaon, Festival Programmer at Liberation Docfest Bangladesh, told UNB. The workshop and pitching session, in association with Dhaka DocLab, will cater to 10 projects from Bangladeshi documentary filmmakers which were selected for this year’s workshop. Marking the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of Independence, the festival is scheduled to introduce a series of new screening sessions and special ceremonies in a hybrid format, due to the ongoing pandemic. Also read: 8th Liberation Docfest Bangladesh-2020 begins connecting global minds virtually A total of 1,900 films from 112 countries have been submitted to the organisers this year. Among them, 110 documentaries will be screened at the festival. This year is also marking the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of Liberation War Museum, which will be observed with the screening of 12 documentaries from the last five decades along with a special exhibition of 25 one-minute short films when the festival will take place in the future.