In this small country there are many ethnic groups who have their own languages, cultural heritage and distinct lifestyles. But to our utter frustration, the majority of people are not aware of the diverse indigenous communities.
A photography exhibition, titled “Bishwa Bhora Pran” (A world of living spirits), on display at Drik Gallery in the capital, broadly illustrates the lifestyle of indigenous people. The exhibition marks the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples.
Three travellers -- MA Mohit, Onu Tareq and Enam Ul Haque, teamed up to display photographs which they have shot from different corners of the country, especially Chittagong Hill Tracts, documenting the lives of indigenous people.
The photographs depict the lush greenery of the hill tracts, floating clouds, moving rivers and rocky riverbeds which are the main attractions of the hilly districts. One of the strongest aspects of the exhibition is that it boasts photos of some of the exotic places scattered in different corners of the hills tracts.
These are shot in different times of the year, so the ever-changing cycle of nature is visible in all of the photographs. Some photos show green hills in the monsoon, while others show the dreariness of winter. Chilly winter mornings, rain-soaked hills, cultural programmes of hilly residents and their day-to-day lives—all get visual depiction in the photographs.
Apart from depicting heavenly natural beauty, the photographs document the lifestyle of indigenous people who live in different areas in Rangamati and Bandarban districts. The lives of Bawm, Marma, Tripura, Chakma, Shaotal, Garo people are a sign of harmony in diversity. In addition to hill tracts, some photos also zoom in on the lives of indigenous people living in Rajshahi, Mymensingh, Netrakona and Noagaon.
About the exhibition, Onu Tareq said, “There are many indigenous communities who live in different corners of Bangladesh. The majority of the people do not have any idea about their lives. The photos at the exhibition aim to bring forth their lives and culture so that people become familiar with them.”
Bangladesh boasts many exotic landscapes and a diversity of cultural heritage. And the photographs in the exhibition highlight the lives, cultures and economic conditions of indigenous communities who are integral parts of Bangladesh.
The exhibition closes tomorrow.