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     Volume 5 Issue 123 | December 8, 2006 |

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Capturing the Culture

Elita Karim

As a young girl, Patricia Klink travelled around the world with her parents. Her father, who was a doctor at the World Health Organisation and was stationed at various countries, including Afganisthan, Ghana, Sierra Leone, England, Ireland, Switzerland and many more. Born in Argentina, she was given a camera by her parents, back in the 1960s. Patricia, overwhelmed by the gift, would take it everywhere with her and capture anything that would interest her. Eventually, she fell in love with the art. Living in 16 different countries, she fell in love with the people as well and would capture them and their culture on her camera.

After getting married to Rudolf Klink, the CEO of Siemens, she has lived in the USA, Argentina, Libya, India, Thailand, Philippines and now in Bangladesh. Living here for a couple of years now, she has been highly fascinated by the colour, culture and people. “I tell my family back home about Bangladesh all the time,” she says. “There is so much more to it than what is shown on television,” In fact, some of her nephews, nieces, her daughter and even her granddaughter came to visit Patricia and Rudolf since they arrived to Dhaka, some of the guests came from Argentina or Germany where her daughter and granddaughter live at the moment.

As an amateur photographer, she has always had the habit of observing people, their culture, and rituals of birth, death, wedding ceremonies and many more. In her course of travels, she has captured the lives of people from all the different cultures. “Yet,” she exclaims. “Bangladesh somehow has this mystical and a spiritual presence that has always intrigued me.” She talks about how she has tried to capture the rich heritage, art, landscape, religion, tradition, even the way people dressed with her lens.

Patricia's first photography event in Dhaka was the launching of the Calendar 2006 with photos she took during her first months in Dhaka. They captured everyday life both in the city of Dhaka as well as other districts around the country.

“When people in Bangladesh would come to know that I was from Argentina, they would instantly be excited and would want to know more about the country,” she says. “During the last World Cup, I was surprised to see so many Bangladeshis cheering for Argentina and also their despair when they lost. All the blue and white Argentinean flags that were put up in the country made me feel as if I was right at home, all united with great hopes for the Argentinean team.”

This inspired her to show what Argentina is really like to her Bangladeshi friends. Recently at Flambe Restaurant in Gulshan 2, Patricia organised an evening dedicated to her homeland Argentina. “At least 120 of my pictures were displayed there,” she says. Her pictures showed various landscapes from Argentina, such as the North of Argentina, the provinces of Salta, Jujuy, Tucuman or various shots of the city of Buenos Aires as well as the Glaciers of Perito Moreno in the very South West of the country and of the National Park Peninsula Valdes, where whales, sea elephants and penguins live undisturbed in their environment. Some had colourful markets, others children and various people. Patricia even brought in Argentinean beef and wine for dinner. The Chef of Flambe, Palash Gomez, who has worked in various countries, knows much about Argentinean food so, together they coordinated a menu with the imported beef, as well as the desserts which were typical from Argentina such as Pancakes with Dulce de Leche, or Dulce de Membrillo. During the exhibition, Amanda and her husband Mario danced Tango and a Milonga, the most traditional dance of Argentina and he also played the Bombo.

Not only did she have the photos but various artefacts very typical of Argentina, such as the Mates, or part of the traditional clothes of the Gaucho (the nearest translation into English for Gaucho would be a cowboy). Pottery, typical instruments such as the Charango, Bombo, wind instruments and books from famous Argentinean authors such as Luis Borges and others were displayed. She also presented some information of a Foundation called “YISE” founded in Buenos Aires in 2001, shortly after the economical crash in the country. This foundation follows the steps of the microcredit system created by Dr. Mohammad Yunus. There were photos of some of the projects as well as some of the material which is produced through the foundation.

This photography evening was the first step to a future intercultural exchange between Bangladesh and Argentina.




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