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     Volume 6 Issue 47 | December 7, 2007 |

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Through the Eyes of the Lens

Srabonti Narmeen Ali

Photo: Qamruzzaman

It is a sad fact that corruption in Bangladesh has reached such an insatiable height that it is notorious in the international community. What makes Bangladesh particularly unique is that corruption has reared its ugly head in every segment of our society. Differences in class or background only change the situations and circumstances, but the level of corruption is the same everywhere. Contrary to popular belief, however, the majority of the population do not condone the corruption in Bangladesh. They find different ways to protest it, be it through the arts, writing or even photography, as is the case with the participants of the Anti-Corruption Photography Exhibition to be held on Saturday, December 8.

The exhibition, organised by the UNDP and funded by Danida, will be held at the DRIK Gallery to celebrate Anti Corruption Day, which will be on December 9. Anyone who is a Bangladeshi national was eligible to join. Participants were supposed to send a photograph related to the theme, "fighting corruption: a collective responsibility," according to their own interpretation.

Photo: Kazi Md. Sadid

Under the guidelines, each photograph has to visually display: corruption and types of corruption, the effect of corruption: social, economical, political, legal, integrity and honesty as social values, rights of citizens or the contribution of citizens to establish a corruption-free society.

Many of the photographers interpreted anti corruption through symbols, such as Babul Talukder, in one his photos a young baby is raised in the midst of the crowd. The baby, symbolising the people of Bangladesh, is emaciated with its ribs standing out, to show how corruption, which robs from the people of Bangladesh, affects the toiling masses.


Photo: Babul Talukder

Some photographers, rather than using symbol, show how different people are affected by corruption, especially on the young people, like Abir Shome, who depicts a young girl staring out a car window with a Tk 50 note (to show that she was giving a bribe).

Photo: Abir Shome

Still other photographs, like that of Zobaer Hossain Sikder, show corruption in action, so to speak. The picture, showing a policeman pulling along an old man who has been unjustly accused of a crime, is depicting police corruption.

However, many photographers are attempting to portray their country in a more positive light, such as Qamruzzaman in his likeness of people marching towards the basic principles of democracy, socialism, secularism and nationalism, based on which the country gained independence after a bloody and ruthless war in 1971. Talukder submitted another photograph depicting the anti corruption drive led by the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Photo: Zobaer Hossain Sikder

Another photograph depicting faith is that of Kazi Md. Sadid is that of a woman's hand with green and red bangles symbolises the youth taking an oath to remember the previous generation's struggle for freedom and also the need to fight for the eradication of corruption.

It is important to know that this Photography Exhibition, organised by the UNDP and Danida, is meant to give the people of the country a voice so that they too can fight corruption in whichever way they can. The winners of the photography competition will be announced the next day, during a seminar on the UN Convention on Anti Corruption (UNCAC), which Bangladesh signed in February of 2007, in the hopes that the country will, someday, be rid of corruption.



Photo: Babul Talukder

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