The British Council has commenced an exhibition featuring rare photographs, artifact and films of the movement that happened in London in 1971 to support the cause of Bangladesh during the Liberation War. Titled ‘London 1971: The Unsung Heroes of the Bangladesh’s Liberation war’, the exhibition features more than 40 rare photos brought together by Project London 1971 initiator Ujjal Das at the British Council Dhaka Main Office on Fuller Road.
The Liberation War of Bangladesh instigated a massive uproar in the international community, especially the Bangladeshi diaspora of that time, who raised their voices in solidarity for a liberated Bangladesh. The movement in London was among the most prominent of its kind during that time.
Curated by curator Shehzad Chowdhury, the exhibition aims to rediscover the contributions of the expatriate Bengalis in the UK during the fateful year, and explore the role that art played in creating change. A series of events every Friday in March will explore the representation of the conflict in London, the role of the physical British Council space in the Liberation War and responses from Bangladeshi artists today.
Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, Foreign Minister of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, inaugurated the event as Chief Guest. Other renowned guests included David Ashley, Deputy High Commissioner, British High Commission, Dhaka; Mohiuddin Ahmed, Former Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the first ever Bangladeshi diplomat in Europe; Fajlul Kabir (Tuhin), Chairman, Project London 1971; Barbara Wickham, Country Director, British Council;Kendall Robbins, Acting Director Arts, British Council; and Nahin Idris, Head of Arts, British Council.
"1971 marked the most important year for Bangladesh and Bangladeshis worldwide. In the year, people from all over the world stood up for the millions of innocent Bangladeshis who suffered gravely during the Liberation War. It gives us immense pride and honour to witness the efforts of people in London, especially the Bangladeshi expatriates, and the British Council, in support of the country’s independence during 1971", said Barbara Wickham, Director, British Council Bangladesh.
The exhibitions and events are all open and free to the public and appropriate for families and children and will continue throughout this month.