A memorial installation made out of the wreckage of the microbus filmmaker Tareque Masud and media personality Mishuk Munier had been riding, just before a tragic collision took their lives in Manikganj three years ago. The artwork dedicated in the memory of all road accident victims of the country was inaugurated on the Dhaka University campus yesterday. Photo: Star
The wrecked body of the microbus with registration no Dhaka Cha 13-0302 lay under the shades of trees on a traffic island on the Dhaka University campus, near Shamsunnahar hall.
Painted white, it freezes the moment when the country lost two of its gifted sons--Tareque Masud and Mishuk Munier, in the afternoon of August 13, 2011 in Manikganj in a tragic road crash.
The wreckage of the vehicle is part of the Road Accident Memorial Installation, inaugurated yesterday in memory of noted filmmaker Tareque Masud and media personality Mishuk Munier, and all other road accidents victims of the country.
Tareque's widow and chairperson of Tareque Masud Memorial Trust, Catherine Masud, told The Daily Star that after the accident, the survivors including her decided to preserve the wreckage hoping to use it somehow in the future.
Later, they decided to create a public space, where it would be kept for the public to see what critical situation of Bangladesh's roads and highways have created, she added.
"It was our responsibility as an artist," said the filmmaker, hoping that the art would create awareness among people.
"It is a change that must begin with awareness and knowledge to action," she said, explaining why DU campus was chosen for the installation.
The gear box of the vehicle, put nearby as part of the installation. Photo: Star
Another survivor, artist Dhali Al Mamoon, who conceived the idea and installed the memorial artwork, described how difficult it was for him to come out of the memory while working on it. "I was often devastated with grief," he said.
"There is a lack of civic sense among us," said Asif Munier, brother of Mishuk Munier, adding that many educated people did not follow traffic rules while crossing roads or driving. He suggested that artworks promoting awareness could be installed on roads.
Inaugurating the installation, Vice Chancellor of DU AAMS Arefin Siddique hoped that such steps would help create awareness and reduce the rate of accidents.
The landscape of the installation, funded by Brac and Brac Bank Ltd, was designed by architect Salauddin Ahmed. Tareque Masud Memorial Trust coordinated the project.
Brac founder Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, although not present on the occasion as the guest of honour, sent a message to the audience, in which he termed the deaths from road accidents unacceptable.
His message, read by Brac official Asif Saleh, mentioned that research showed that out of the 21,635km of roads, 80 percent of accidents happen on 57km. So road accidents can be avoided if this span of the road can be managed properly, he read.
About maintenance of the installation, artist Mamoon, said he had his trust in people that they would be respectful to the cause it represented. "Besides, we are discussing how the installation can be maintained," he said.