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Iconic photojournalist dies

Work of Rashid Talukder, 72, constitutes a pictorial record of the country

ucanews.com reporter, Dhaka

ucanews.com reporter, Dhaka

Published: October 27, 2011 08:12 AM GMT

Updated: October 27, 2011 08:14 AM GMT

Iconic photojournalist dies
Rashid Talukder

Bangladeshis are mourning the death of Rashid Talukder, a pioneering photojournalist who captured many events pivotal in the country’s history. Often called the ‘Eye of History’, Talukder died of a massive brain hemorrhage on Tuesday in Dhaka aged 72. Thousands paid a final tribute yesterday to the photo great at the Central Martyrs’ Memorial before he was buried in a government cemetery in the city yesterday. Photojournalists and media people said Talukder’s death is a blow for the country. “I’m shocked and sad to bid him farewell. He was a pioneering and inspirational role model to many photographers in this country,” said Andrew Biraj, 33, a Reuters photographer. “His photos during the 1971 liberation war vividly depict the birth of our nation,” he said, lamenting the fact that Talukder didn’t receive any government recognition for his work during his lifetime. During his career Talukder not only photographed life but also established the Bangladesh Photojournalist Association to promote professional photography in the country. He was also a member of the advisory councils of several photographic organizations, including the Bangladesh Photographic Society. His photographs of the 1971 liberation war are considered invaluable historical documents. For several decades, he recorded various aspects of Bangladeshi life. For his efforts, Talukder received several awards and honors at home and abroad, including a lifetime achievement award at Chobi Mela, an international festival of photography in Dhaka, for his contribution to the field. His photograph of Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's historic speech on March 7, 1971 calling for independence was included in an encyclopedia of Southeast Asia published by Cambridge University. Paul David Barikder, 43, a freelance photojournalist said: “If Rashid had been born in any other country he could have won several Pulitzer Awards for his photography. His dedication to this art will always inspire us as well his historic images.” The director of the Catholic Bishops’ Christian Communications Centre, Father Joyanto S. Gomes, also paid tribute to Talukder. “We’re bereaved at the loss of this great artist. The nation will always remember him for his great contributions,” Father Gomes said. Related reports: Nation mourns film, news greatsOnce freedom fighting heroes, now forgotten

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