National Portrait Gallery

By 15th January 2021Current Events

Bangladesh 50 Years – Tower Hamlets

With our partners Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archive we commemorate 50 years of Bangladesh independence. We are remembering the activism and action of citizens from across Tower Hamlets in 1971 and the legacy of that significant event on the communities that came after.

Citizen researchers, from the Bangladeshi community in Tower Hamlets, will delve into both archives and select material that speaks to them and the events of 1971.

Supported by artist Ruhul Abdin, they will create a new artwork that will be shown locally, and eventually will come to the National Portrait Gallery when we re-open our doors. Ruhul founded participatory design and architecture studio Paraa and is based between Dhaka in Bangladesh and Bow in Tower Hamlets. He is also a portrait artist and has created works sensitively representing Bengali people and capturing events as they take place.

Bangladesh 50 Years will be documented by Digital Producers Rainbow Collective. They will produce short films, images and interviews and share them as the project evolves.

This poster is from a rally in 1971 that went from Tower Hamlets to Trafalgar Square pushing for the recognition of Bangladesh as an independent nation state.

Recognise Bangla Desh rally poster. Courtesy of Ansar Ahmed Ullah, Swadhinata Trust

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