"1st Tourism Photography Exhibition 2008" was inaugurated yesterday at the National Art Gallery, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The two-day-long exhibition has been jointly organised by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) and Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC), and sponsored by Banglalink. This is the first photography exhibition on tourism by BPC.
The exhibition was inaugurated by Syed Mohammad Zubair, secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism. Among others Shafiq Alam Mehedi, chairman of BPC and Bhuiyan Shafiqul Islam, director general, BSA attended the inauguration.
Judges evaluated a total of 3000 entries from 370 contestants and from these, 200 photographs were selected for the exhibition. The best three entries will be awarded at the closing programme today (at 7pm) at the Music and Dance Centre auditorium, BSA.
The subjects of the photographs are diverse -- ranging from a "Fishing Festival" in a remote part of Narsingdi to "Pahela Baishakh" celebration at Ramna Batomul in Dhaka. The underlying theme: Highlighting Bangladesh.
A view of workers plucking tea leaves in a sea of green (by Mohammad Yunus) is familiar to most, yet refreshing. In Kishoreganj, two raging bulls lock horns (by Md. Kabirul Islam). Hundreds of young men, up to their necks in water, take part in a "Machh Dhorar Utsab" in Narsingdi (by Noor Ahmed Jilal). Mangrove forest in the Sundarbans (by Md. Golam Sarwar) seem sleepy. An image of the peaceful Saint Martin's Island appears all postcard-like. A serpentine narrow brook making its way through a sandy shoal in Bholaganj, Sylhet (by Md. Akhlas Uddin) is alluring. The green tips of Keokradong Range in Bandarban against a backdrop of pristine blue sky (by Shoaib Farooqi) is picture perfect. All these images and more bring to light facets of Bangladesh -- some overly familiar and some surprisingly underexposed.
And that's not all. Apart from scenic destinations and festivals, the exhibition also includes photos of historic and archaeological sites, lifestyle, flora and fauna.
The dome of Lalan's shrine in Kushtia, like a lotus bud (by Firoze Ahmed), has rather mundane looking buildings in the background. The once majestic Ruplal House (by Mohammad Saber) in Old Dhaka now looks decrepit, choked by constructions surrounding it. Rani Bhabani Palace in Natore (by Abdur Rab Dulal) looks solitary. Chittagong War Cemetery (by Abdul Malek Babul) looks well-maintained.
Surrounded by colour photographs, a black and white image of "Paani Khela" in Cox's Bazar (by Suman Pal) looks surreal. Portraits of a Murong man and a Tripura woman in their tradition outfits and jewellery (by Golam Quddus Helal) denote diversity.
It's a feast for the eye.
However, an issue, according to some at the exhibition, is that in quite a few cases multiple entries by the same photographer have been included. In some cases, more than one photograph highlighting the same site are on display.
Ekushey TV and the daily Shomokal are the media partners of the event.