MON JANALA – A WINDOW TO THE HEART
Mon Janala celebrates the creativity of two artists of very different disciplines. The story that unfolds throughout the pages of this book explores ‘Aparajeyo Bangla’ (meaning Unvanquished Bengal), an iconic sculpture by Syed Abdullah Khalid, through the lens of the Late Mishuk Munier, photographer-cinematographer. The sculpture was commissioned to Syed Abdullah Khalid by Dhaka University authorities in 1973 to commemorate the Liberation War of Bangladesh. Khalid was a teacher at the Institute of Fine Arts, University of Chittagong, at the time, but travelled to Dhaka to build his sculpture at one of the very first places where the flag of an independent Bangladesh had risen.
Khalid’s work was halted during 1975 due to the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and members of his family, but resumed from 1979. The ‘work in progress’ became an attraction and hangout spot for the locals and it was during this time, a young Mishuk Munier captured this historic endeavour in the background at his first real attempt in photography, before any formal training. While Khalid’s effort appear to be in the centre of attention, upon closer inspection, the photographs convey the story of the exchange between the two artists at the time and the passion for their medium.
Some of Munier’s photographs went on to be featured at the launch brochure at the unveiling of the sculpture in the December of 1979. Today, after more than three decades, Aparajeyo Bangla stands proudly as one of the most renowned mementos of the Liberation Movement. To celebrate the union of the two artists, their friends and family came together to bring forth old negatives and invested lot of time and effort to compile a series of Munier’s photographs, breathing life into the story of the creation of one of the most iconic sculptures in the country.
This photo-book is dedicated to freedom fighters of the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh.
Development Professional, Cultural Activist, and Mishuk Munier’s younger brother