From Shahidul Alam
Rashid Talukder’s photo of the dismembered head in Rayerbazar or the Pullitzer winning image by Michel Laurent and Horst Faas, of the bayoneting of Razakars have been used to represent Bangladesh’s war of liberation.
Kishor Parekh photographed a different war. An old man held up a tiny flag of the new Bangladesh. A child cast a furtive glance at a corpse in the street. Jubilant children laughed as they ran across mustard fields in bloom. Women shed silent tears. “Shoot me right now, or take me”, he had said to the major who refused to take this unaccredited photographer. But Parekh did board the helicopter, but then went his own way. On his own, with limited film, Parekh photographed the war that ordinary women, men and children had fought.
The month of December is tinged with sadness. The trauma of the killings and the disappearances that followed the 16th of December 1971, Bangladesh’s Victory Day, will haunt us all. Kishor Parekh is one of the twelve outstanding southern photographers represented in the Drik 2004 calendar, out next week. Existing publications, including CD ROMs are already available in our digital kiosk.