Pioneering woman photographer of the country Sayeda Khanam was felicitated on her 80th birthday at a programme held at Chhayanaut auditorium in Dhanmondi on Friday.
Khanam’s friends, well-wishers and young women photographers organised the felicitation programme, which also featured screening of a documentary film on life and works of Sayeda Khanam.
Professor emeritus Anisuzzaman, artist Mostafa Monwar, human rights activists Sultana Kamal and Khushi Kabir, photographer Shahidul Alam, Abir Abdullah and Munira Morshed, among others, were present at the programme.
Young women photographers and a number of photographers’ organisations congratulated Sayeda Khanam on the occasion. Tagore singer Ruquiya Hasin presented a Tagore song Dure kothay as a tribute to Khanam.
‘I have known Sayeda Khanam since 1950s. She graduated from Bangla department of Dhaka University. She pursued photography as a profession at a time when there were no women photographers in the country. She became a role model and inspired countless young women to follow in her footsteps,’ said professor emeritus Anisuzzaman.
‘Sayeda Khanam was introduced to literature and music at an early age. Her family supported her in every way and helped her to flourish as a photographer,’ said Mostafa Monwar.
Sayeda Khanam thanked the organisers at the programme. ‘Back then it was not easy for a woman to choose photography as a profession. I am happy because I could take up the challenge,’ Sayeda Khanam said.
After the discussion a 20-minute documentary on Sayeda Khanam was screened on the occasion. Titled ‘Protikriti’, the documentary has been directed by Shamim Akhter.
Born in 1937 in a Muslim family in Pabna, Sayeda Khanam started her career as a woman photographer in 1956. She joined the then popular magazine Begum as a photojournalist.
Photographs taken by Khanam were published in many leading newspapers like Pakistan Observer, Morning News, Dainik Bangla, Dainik Purbadesh, Sangbad, Ittefaq, Pakistan Khobor and others.
Sayeda Khanam also took photographs of many dignitaries and celebrities like Queen Elizabeth II, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Zainul Abedin, Mother Teresa and Neil Armstrong, among others.
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