Published on 11:44 AM, August 18, 2020

Sayeeda Khanam, first female photographer of the country, no more

Sayeeda Khanam

Sayeeda Khanam, the first female professional photographer of Bangladesh, passed away in the capital early today. She was 83.

The photographer who had been suffering from old age complications breathed her last at her residence in Banani around 3am.

Born in Pabna on December 29, 1937, Sayeeda Khanam  completed her masters in Bengali literature and Library Science from the University of Dhaka.

In 1956, she started her career as a photographer in Begum, the only newspaper dedicated to women at that time.

She covered many national and international events. She worked as a photographer with renowned filmmaker Satyajit Ray in three of his films.

Khanam worked as a librarian in Bengali Literature department of University of Dhaka from 1974 to 1986.

After the war, she volunteered as a nurse in Holy Family Hospital for a while.

Khanam had her first international exhibition in 1956 after participating in the International Photo and Cinema Exhibition, Cologne.

In the same year, her works were displayed in an international photography exhibition held in Dhaka and later exhibited in international competitions in Japan, France, Sweden and Cyprus.

Her works on Mother Teresa, Rabindra Sangeet singer Konika Bandopadhyay and Satyajit Ray were also exhibited in Dhaka.

In 1960, she received an award in All Pakistan Photo Contest and in 1985 she was honoured with UNESCO Award for photography.

She received many other awards from several national and international organisations and was a lifetime member of Bangladesh Mahila Samity and Bangla Academy.

K M Khalid MP, state minister for Cultural affairs, expressed deep shock and sorrow at the death of Sayeeda Khanam.