I'm back in Sydney now, trying to get my stomach to re-adjust to green leafy vegetables and coffee. Before my memory fades too much I need to get my last two days with Chobi Mela blogged and posted!
After a car ride back to Dhanmondi from old Dhaka, we started Friday at the Bengal Gallery with lightboxes to hang, labels to stick-up and Trent’s interview with the Daily Star journalist, Kavita Charanji (http://www.thedailystar.net/2006/11/12/d611121402128.htm). Kavita has a very thorough journalistic style, and followed Trent around the exhibition while he talked to her in-depth about the photographs and how they were made.
After labelling and tweaking the frames in the space (and fiddling with one lightbox that thought it was a disco strobe), Trent and I departed for the hotel for much-needed sleep and curry nourishment.
On the way though, we came across this scandalous headline in The Independent!
Ah, yet another demonstration of the tricks of photography.
The opening of Trent’s exhibition was a very ritzy affair with speeches by Dr Shahidul Alam, Trent Parke, Bengal Gallery Director Subir Choudhury, and Australian High Commissioner, Douglas Foskett. The High Commissioner and Trent were kind enough to hold this pose so that I could take the only decent photo I have shot on my entire trip to Dhaka. I think it is quite expressive and dynamic (not at all blurry or out of focus).
The show was a hit with the local audience and visiting photographers, and Trent gave an informal floortalk to the High Commissioner and his wife, and to all those within earshot.
It seems to be a great tradition in Bangladesh to break for tea and cake during such events, so after taking photographs of the crowd, I hung-out with Chulie de Silva (not “Julie” as I had first heard) and – revitalised by refreshment – we headed-off to the Goethe institute for the next series of talks.
Chulie works for the World Bank and has an amazing personal story of surviving the Boxing Day Tsunami. Her account of the disaster can be accessed via the World Bank website on www.worldbank.lk in their news and events section.