A photography exhibition sheds light on the political situation

On Friday, dignitaries along with the winners of the Bangladesh Press Photo Contest 2022 pose during the award ceremony at the Drik Gallery on Panthapath in Dhaka. — New Age Photo

A photography exhibition showcasing the competing photographs of the Bangladesh Press Photo Contest 2022 kicked off Friday at Drikpath Bhaban at Panthapath in the capital.

The exhibition features works by photojournalists highlighting the contemporary political situation, freedom of expression, enforced disappearances, arts, culture and sport.

The event features a total of 34 photos taken by 29 photographers in three categories: politics, public service journalism and arts, culture and sports.

These photos were selected from 1,403 photos submitted for the press photo contest.

In the political category, the photographs on display address issues such as enforced disappearance, community attack, funeral prayer of writer Mushtaq Ahmed who was detained under the 2018 Digital Security Act and died in prison on February 25, 2021, cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore broke down in tears after being released from prison in 10 months as part of the controversial DSA, police beat women protesting the death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh marred by protests and Sagar Runi’s only son Mahir Sarwar Megh attending a protest rally organized by the Dhaka Reporters Unit on February 11 to demand justice for the couple of Sagar-Runi journalists.

Daily Star photojournalist Arman Hossain’s photograph, which shows seven-year-old Safa struggling to hold back tears as she tries to say a few words during a show at the National Press Club, won the photo for the year 2021 in the photo contest.

“I was in my mother’s womb when my father was taken away,” she said on August 30, 2021, when the photo was taken. Her father Mahfuzur Rahman Sohel, a Chattra Dal leader in Bangshal, disappeared in 2013.

Gitiara Nasreen, a professor in the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at Dhaka University, said, “A picture says more than a thousand words. The first-prize winning photograph provides insight into the disappearance. When you look at the photograph, you cannot measure the number of words you are listening to.

“The photograph shows the young girl cannot hold back her tears illustrating the era as photographs captured different eras. Some did not witness 1969, 1971, but they were able to know the story after watching photographs,” she added.

She said many photojournalists don’t get the recognition they deserve.

Daily Star photojournalist Arman Hossain received a check for Tk 1 lakh, a crest and a certificate as he wrapped the photo of the year 2021.

Manab Zamin photojournalist Jibon Ahmed won the award for public service journalism. Weekly Citizen Md photojournalist Zakirul Mazed won the award in politics.

And New Age photojournalist Sourav Lasker won the award in the arts, culture and sports category.

Each of the three received a check for 50,000 Tk, a crest and a certificate during the award ceremony.

The photo exhibit judges are photographer Abir Abdullah, Agence France-Presse bureau chief Shafiqul Alam and Dhaka Tribune chief photographer Syed Zakir Hossain.

World Press Photo Executive Director Joumana EI Zein Khoury spoke at the event, joining virtually.

Managing Director of Drik Picture Library Limited, Shahidul Alam delivered the welcome speech at the event, while former University of Dhaka Professor and Columnist Syed Manzoorul Islam spoke at the event. ‘event.

The exhibition will remain open to visitors from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily until March 2.

Tracey L. Sweeney