Kick-off of the photography exhibition “Bangladesh 1971: Mourning and morning”

Photographs of the exhibition. Photos: Courtesy of Alliance Française de Dhaka.

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Photographs of the exhibition. Photos: Courtesy of Alliance Française de Dhaka.

The Liberation War Museum and the Alliance Française de Dhaka jointly organized the solo photographic exhibition “Bangladesh 1971: Mourning and Morning” by Marc Riboud. The opening ceremony of the exhibition was held at the Liberation War Museum on October 16.

Dr. AK Abdul Momen, MP, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, graced the occasion as the chief guest. HE Jean-Marin Schuh, Ambassador of France to Bangladesh, attended the event as guest of honour.

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Special guests at the opening ceremony.

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Special guests at the opening ceremony.

Supported by the Friends of Marc Riboud association and the Guimet Museum, this is a unique exhibition of previously unseen photographs taken during the Bangladesh liberation war. About fifty photographs are exhibited for the exhibition.

Special guests at the opening ceremony.

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Special guests at the opening ceremony.

A member of the first generation of Magnum photographers, veteran French photographer Marc Riboud was born in Saint-Genis-Laval, near Lyon, in 1923. He took his first photographs at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1937, at the using a tiny Kodak Vest Pocket given to him by his father for his 14th birthday. In 1944, he joined the Vercors resistance. From 1945 to 1948, he studied engineering at the Ecole Centrale de Lyon and began to work. Three years later, he chose to pursue a career as a photographer.

His photo of a painter on top of the Eiffel Tower was published in “Life” magazine in 1953. It was his first published work. Subsequently, he joined the Magnum Photos agency after being invited by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa.

He traveled by road from the Middle East and Afghanistan to India in 1955, where he stayed for a year. In 1957 he traveled from Kolkata to Beijing for the first of many extended stays. In Japan, he found inspiration for what would become his first book, “Women of Japan”, after a long road trip through the Far East and the Middle East.

After a three-month stay in the Soviet Union, he returned to cover the independence movements in Algeria and sub-Saharan Africa in 1960. Between 1968 and 1976, he was one of the few photographers authorized to photograph in South and North Vietnam. His photo of a young woman holding a flower, taken outside the Pentagon during a protest against the Vietnam War, has become an international symbol of peace.

Bangladesh’s independence struggle caught his attention and he arrived in Kolkata at the end of November 1971. He traveled inside refugee camps and liberated areas. His expedition started at Sherpur, and after crossing the mighty Brahmaputra River, he witnessed the decisive battle of Jamalpur, which he extensively documented.

Most of them are still unpublished to this day. When the Indo-Pakistani all-out war broke out on December 3, he entered Bangladesh with an advancing Indian army backed by Bangladeshi freedom fighters. He was one of the first photographers to enter Dhaka and capture the city’s liberation with his camera.

In the 1980s and 1990s, he frequently returned to the East and the Far East, notably to Angkor and Huang Shan, but he also witnessed the rapid and significant transformation of China, a nation he had observed for over thirty years. .

Marc Riboud donated 192 original prints made between 1953 and 1977 to the National Museum of Modern Art (Centre Georges Pompidou) in Paris in 2011. His art has received many prestigious honors and has been exhibited in museums and galleries in Paris , New York, Shanghai, and Tokyo, among others.

Marc Riboud died in Paris in 2016 at the age of 93. The majority of his archives have been donated to the National Museum of Asian Arts – Guimet in Paris.

After the inauguration ceremony, the exhibition will be open to everyone until November 16. Visiting hours are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Sunday).

“Bangladesh 1971: Mourning and Morning” is co-organized by Lorène Durret and Mofidul Hoque. The second phase of the exhibition will take place at the Alliance Française in Dhaka in January 2022.

Tracey L. Sweeney