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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 3 | Issue 06 | February 13, 2011 |


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Chobi Mela

Images at the Chobi Mela

Salman Rob

"Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes one photograph, or a group of them, can lure our sense of awareness."

-W. Eugene Smith

For many a youngster, last week was filled with a lot of activities. The Chobi Mela VI was coming to an end, thereby getting all the campus students busy with last minute visits to the venues all through the weekend. 'Chobi Mela VI,' International Festival of Photography, was held in Dhaka from January 21 to February 3. And this event, hands down, can be called one of the biggest photography festivals ever done in Bangladesh. The exhibitions were held at Shilpakala Academy, The Asiatic Gallery of Fine Arts, The British Council, Alliance Francaise, Drik Gallery, The Goethe-institute and The Lichutala at the Art Faculty of Dhaka University. Other than just photography the festival also had 30 digital presentations including two films and one play 'Parable of the lost post office' by Rabindranath Tagore, nine workshops and two portfolio reviews.

The Pastor at the sea whatching his members. photo courtesy : mario macilau

Photographers from 30 different countries participated here, starting from Bangladesh, Argentina, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Mozambique, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine, Puerto Rico, Spain, Turkey, Togo, United States of America and many more.

photo courtesy : dominic sansoni

David De Souza, a biochemist, worked for the Arabian American Oil Company as a petroleum Chemist and now teaches at Saint Xaviers College in Mumbai was one of the photographers at this event. His style of photography was quite different. For the last 5 years his interests have been Indian mythology and its interpretation in a contemporary way. His current obsession is with Dreams and 3D which he portrays together in one picture. One of his works was about a lion and a girl. The explanation of it was, 'Since your mate died, it is time now to consummate your love for that part of you that is your true feminine power, rising, in all its creativity. The strength of pride is with you.'

Photos captured by the internationally renowned photographer David Burnett from the United States seemed to catch everyone's attention. His photographs depicted the fall of the Shah in Iran and showcased the events chronologically in 'Iran and the remaking of the world,' and '44 Days'.

photo courtesy : david burnett

Munem Wasif, a well known Bangladeshi photographer was also one of the participants; his pictures were mostly works on water crisis in the North West region of Bangladesh. His exhibition was called 'Salt water tears.' Wasif said, "In places like Sathkhira there is no water for the people and hence other than farming shrimps there isn't any option. Shrimp farming doesn't need many people, so out of ten, seven to eight people are always job less. Villagers travel to Sundarban for work and has to face the risk of being attacked by tigers and pirates."

All in all, the Chobi Mela VI was a great success and helped people of all ages to come out of their shells and start exploring the world through lenses.

photo courtesy : amit mehra

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