Ambassador’s Speech - Inaugration of the Photography Exhibition - Joy Bangabandhu - 6th March 2020
Dear Nasir Ali Mamun,
Dear Shahabuddin Ahmed,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is an honor to open this exhibition with the eminent painter Shahabuddin Ahmed. The location of this particular event, the Alliance Française de Dacca, is a symbol of the long history and friendship between our two nations, France and Bangladesh.
Nasir Ali Mamun, the founder of portrait photography in Bangladesh, known as “ Camerar Kobi”, the Poet with the Camera, offers a unique vision of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Mamun took many portraits of the Father of the nation in the early seventies and recorded his rare moments from close up. Working exclusively in black and white, Mamun’s body of work from 1972 onwards has been described as ‘capturing rare moments of rarer human beings in a spirit of discovery, providing a facial history of creative souls.’
This exhibition is a great way to pay tribute to the man who gave its voice to the people of Bangladesh. A hundred years ago, Sheikh Mujib Rahman, the architect of the nation and founder of independent Bangladesh was born in Tungipara. Under his undaunted leadership and unwavering engagement, Bangladesh gained its freedom. Bangabandhu’s love and commitment for its people provided all the much-needed strength to rebuild the country. Next year, we will celebrate 50 years of Independence everywhere in Bangladesh.
This event means a lot for France and the French people. Bangladesh is a country where the word liberty has a deep resonance and a profound meaning. So does it for us. After the atrocities by Pakistani occupation forces in 1971, many foreign nationals have raised their voices for the people of Bangladesh. André Malraux was one of them. He was a man of versatile talents; a French novelist, the French resistance fighter, the author of The Human Condition, General de Gaulle’s Minister for Culture and a winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt. From the very beginning, he extended his full support to the cause of Bangladesh. Although he did not have the chance to physically fight for it, he took the weapons he mastered best, the pen and the voice. Once he wrote, "nothing is more important, in the history of the world, to be on the side of the people who had been capable of saying ’No’." That’s what he did, and that’s what Sheikh Mujibur Rahman inspired to an entire new-born nation.
The multifaceted life of any great man cannot be put together in language or in color. But it can be suggested, using a look, a posture, a play of light or a particular angle. It seems like Mr Nasir Ali Mamun found the best way to translate Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s greatness and singularity in his work.
I wish every possible success to this exhibition. Thank you all for coming tonight.