Acclaimed French photographer Marc Riboud captured the harsh reality and struggles of the freedom fighters during the Liberation War of Bangladesh through his camera in 1971. A collection from those never-before-seen photographs are on display at the Liberation War Museum.
Jointly organised by Alliance Française de Dhaka and Liberation War Museum, the exhibition titled "Bangladesh 1971: Mourning and Morning" showcases a total of 50 photographs taken by Marc Riboud during the Bangladesh liberation war.
Born in 1923, Riboud is considered one of the first generation of Magnum photographers. His first published work was a photo of a painter atop the Eiffel Tower, which was published in the Life magazine in 1953. Afterwards, he joined the Magnum Photo agency after being invited by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa.
In 1971, Bangladesh's independence struggle piqued his attention, and he arrived in Kolkata in late November. He journeyed inside refugee camps and liberated zones. His expedition began at Sherpur, and after crossing the mighty Brahmaputra River, he witnessed the decisive battle of Jamalpur, which he extensively documented.
The majority of these photos are still unpublished till today. When the all-out Indo-Pakistan war broke out on 3 December, he entered Bangladesh with an advancing Indian army backed up by Bangladeshi freedom fighters. He was one of the first photographers to enter Dhaka and capture the city's liberation with his camera.
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.
Beginning on 16 October, the exhibition will be open to all till 16 November. Visiting hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 5 pm (closed on Sunday).
The exhibition is jointly curated by Lorène Durret and Mofidul Hoque.
Supported by L'association Les amis de Marc Riboud, and Musée Guimet; it is a unique exhibition of never-before-seen photographs. This exhibition is being organised to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh's independence.
Of the 50 displayed photographs, TBS picks a few stand out ones
The striking black and white photograph shows a refugee family settled under a Banyan Tree in Krishnanagar Camp, 100 miles from Kolkata, near the border of Bangladesh. The photo articulates the helplessness of the family profoundly.
The photo captures a quiet and beautiful moment of two freedom fighters at prayer, inside the liberated zone, Bangladesh.
The photo showcases a rare moment of making flags in haste, in the streets of Dhaka. Smiles on the faces of the people in the photo show a ray of hope, hope for freedom, hope for a better future.