Photographer-artist Khurshid Alom Alok’s series on Shaheed Minar brings to light how people across Bangladesh have responded over the years to the motif of the Central Shaheed Minar built by artists Novera Ahmed and Hamidur Rahman.
Alok has amassed photographs of transient Shaheed Minars made by mostly children from villages across the country to celebrate Amar Ekushey. His nine-day exhibition titled ‘Banglar Apon Soudho’ began on February 20 at the gallery 3 of the National Art Gallery of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Featuring 126 photographs captured from villages across Bangladesh over the years, Alok’s effort speaks volumes about how the spirit of the language movement inspired the masses.
The exhibition was inaugurated by noted artist Mustafa Monwar. Professor Mohammad Rafiqul Islam attended the opening ceremony as chief guest. Besides, artist Nasim Ahmed Nadvi was present at the ceremony as a special guest while it was presided over by Liaquat Ali Lucky, director general of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
‘I have special emotion about the history of the language movement and the Shaheed Minar. I have been capturing photographs of the Central Shaheed Minar and paint designs on the Shaheed Minar yard since long. However, I have seen how the children of remote places celebrate the International Mother Language Day by making transient structure of Shaheed Minar,’ said Khurshid Alom Alok.
‘I had a plan to promote their love and creativity through my photography. I have been doing this for 25 years. And finally this year I am holding this exhibition. I hope these photographs will touch visitors’ conscience,’ he added.
The photographs were mostly taken in different parts of Barguna, Rajshahi, Faridpur and Manikganj. The Shaheed Minars are made by children using mud, newspaper, cloths, colourful papers, banana trunks and other materials.
‘My photographs basically portray the creativity of children. To make the Shaheed Minars look more beautiful, they often use their mothers’ saris. In future, I would love to promote their works in a larger scale,’ said the photographer.
Among the photographs few are significant, including a mud Shaheed Minar which has three columns and there are few Bangla letters and ‘Ekushey February’ written on the ground with red paint.
Another photograph shows a Shaheed Minar made with pink and blue papers. The columns are garlanded with flower and fairy lights. There are newspapers plastered on the ground in front of the structure.
There is no end to innovations. There is one Shaheed Minar made of white cork sheet and is decorated with floral wreaths and petals. There is another made of bamboo and white cloths.
The exhibition will run till February 29 and is open to the visitors from 11:00am to 8:00pm daily.
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