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By 26th October 2021November 6th, 2021Current Events

CELEBRATING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF BANGLADESH INDEPENDENCE on Victory Day 16th December at British Library 2021, with stories, song and music booking now available on




On December 16th 1971 the nation of Bangladesh was born after a war of liberation from the rule of West Pakistan.


On this day we are pleased to launch the Swadhinata Trust archive of our oral history project, Bengali Music and Musicians in the UK, now available on the British Library Sound Archive website on this link


Tonight’s Programme includes:


Mahmudur Rahman Benu-bhai who led the Bangladesh Mukti Shangrami Shilpi Shangstha Liberation Team of Artists in 1971, touring the war zone and refugee camps in India singing Songs of Freedom.

Moushumi Bhowmik, an Indian Bengali singer, writer and music archivist. She composed and sang the iconic ”Joshor Road’ for Tareque Masud’s documentary, ‘Muktir Kotha’, which has become an anthem of the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh. Her research and collection of field recordings from Bangladesh may be found in The Travelling Archive

Budhaditya Bhattacharyya, an Indian musician and music researcher based in London, UK. Trained in Hindustani classical music and modern Bengali songs currently under the tutelage of Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty. As a DDS-funded doctoral researcher at Durham University, Budhaditya is working on musical histories of migration and citizenship between Bengal and Britain.

The Grand Union Orchestra, led by composer Tony Haynes, has an long history of collaboration with artists from Bangladesh. Tonight he and three members of GUO are joined by Yousuf Ali Khan on tabla and singer Lucy Rahman performing songs by Lucy’s father Sheikh Luthfur Rahman, celebrated singer/songwriter and activist in the cause of Independence.

The event will be hosted by Julie Begum, chair of Swadhinata Trust, and Valentine Harding, a member of Swadhinata Trust and volunteer researcher for the Bengali Music and Musicians in the UK project.


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