Bijon Sarker died today…

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By Munem Wasif

Bijon Sarker died today.

When I heard he had an accident, I was at Pathshala. Suddenly I didn’t know what to do, whom to call. I though of calling Popi da his son, but we weren’t on good terms since Bijon da’s interview in Kamra. It was hard for me.

@ Munem Wasif/ Beauty Boarding

Came back home and found scroll news on tv screens that Bijon Sarker is severely injured. I called Chandan bhai, he was on his way to the hospital. We realized he would need lot of money for his treatment. I tried raising little money from students, friends, collogues, from Drik, from Pathshala. It was hard but we managed to raise a little money. Of course that was not enough. I went to hospital few times, there was nothing we could do. He was in ICU, alone.

@ Munem Wasif/ Beauty Boarding

Next day I had to fly to Cambodia. Saw the beautiful festival in Siem Reap, biked with friends in the countryside, had wonderful food in the streets. I came back after few weeks and got involved with so many things. Called Munni apa and Chandan bhai to get his update. But nothing much, Bijon da was still lying in his bed senseless.

Bijon da was one of the few photographers of his time who pushed the boundary of images while everybody else was busy making pretty photographs. He experimented in the darkroom and created images that we had never seen. He was concerned about the Bangladesh Photography Society. He missed Beg Shaheb as his companion. He was sad he didn’t manage to inspire the next generation of photographers to experiment and to learn to see the unseen. He was a poet who walked alone in the narrow streets of Old Dhaka. No body has written a feature about him in a newspaper, there was no book by him; his negatives have been eaten by ghun poka.

@ Bijon Sarker/ From BPS catalogue

@ Bijon Sarker/ From BPS catalogue

I promised him I would arrange a darkroom, papers and chemical, so he could start making photographs without a camera. He told me nobody must go to the darkroom; nobody could see his images before he had finished. Yes Bijon da I promised. I failed.

@ Munem Wasif/ Beauty Boarding

Bijon da died today; there were only a few people in Shahid Minar. We couldn’t manage a little more space for this artist to work. He was the Man Ray of Bengal.

Please Retweet #photography #Bangladesh #BPS #Pathshala #Drik

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