Turjoy Chowdhury

Genocide ’71- A Memory Map


Though still unrecognised internationally as genocide, many researchers have studied and different studies have mentioned different numbers of people killed in 1971 by the Pakistani Military with their collaborators. The government of Bangladesh puts the number at 3 million. 200,000 to 400,000 women were raped. It’s the price Bangladesh had to pay for its independence. The massacre and the subsequent war that ended with the birth of an independent Bangladesh, started with ‘Operation Search Light’ on 25th March, continued for 9 months. An estimated 7000 people died only on the first night. 10 million people fled and took refuge in India. Hindus, students, Awami League sympathisers, intellectuals and influential leaders were targeted and killed. Countless people were inhumanly tortured to extract information about freedom fighters. Hindu settlements were destroyed. The Pakistani Army and their supporters systematically abducted, killed and dumped bodies in different killing sites.

These killing sites, mass graves and torture cells are scattered all over the country. Unfortunately, very few obvious visual evidence of this horrors have been documented, as foreign journalists were forced to leave the country and most of the prominent local journalists were killed or were forced to go in hiding. After independence, only some of the major mass graves were protected and declared as part of national heritage and other places have changed drastically. This project reveals those horrific stories by exploring these mass graves, killing fields and torture cells through visuals, captured of their present condition with the goal of finding traces of the past in a conceptual manner and mapping the genocide. Portraits and testimonies of eyewitness and survivors, archival letters, documents, articles, family and other artefacts or objects connected directly or indirectly to the genocide is also included as authentic evidence.

Short Bio

Turjoy Chowdhury is an independent Documentary Photojournalist and Multimedia Artist from Dhaka, Bangladesh. He works internationally mostly on humanitarian issues and crisis. He did his graduation in Architecture. His work has been exhibited globally and published in National Geographic, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, BBC, CNN, MSN, Al Jazeera, WNN, Feature Shoot, Life Force Magazine, Zone Zero, Foto8, Feature Shoot, Ethic Magazine, Aksgar magazine, Foto Evidience, Fotovisura, ND Magazine, Private Magazine, Dodho Magazine, CFYE Magazine, Fotoritim Magazine, F- stop Magazine, The Alternative, etc. He also got several awards and honors : UNICEF photo of the Year 2018 (2nd Prize), Joop Swart Masterclass nomination 2018; IPA (Invisible Photographer Asia) award finalist, 2018; NPPA (National Press Photographers Association) Award 2018; LensCulture Emerging Talent Award 2017; Picture of the Year International 2016; Mro Foundation Grant Finalist 2016; Photography Grant Finalist 2016; Ian Parry Scholarship 2016; Lucie Foundation Scholarship 2015; Eye Time photo competition winner 2015; Future Voices Jury Award 2014; Jessica Lum Award 2014; Photocrati Fund Finalist 2014; Photophilanthropy Activist award 2014; Carnegie Council’s International Student Photo Contest 2013.

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The Emerging Photographer Fund is supported by generous donors to the Magnum Foundation

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