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Where Three Dreams Cross: 150 Years of Photography from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh

London's Whitechapel Gallery shows 300 images chronicling the turbulent history of three South Asian countries

by Karen Day
on 21 January 2010
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Pairing quintessential images next to some more startling ones of life in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, London's Whitechapel Gallery unveils a host of photographs from these three simultaneously similar yet utterly different nations in their current exhibition "Where Three Dreams Cross: 150 Years of Photography from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh."

Featuring 300 works from over 70 photographers, the thematically arranged exhibition offers a glimpse of the people and customs comprising these historically spiritual but oft-times turbulent countries. The works fall collectively under five categories: The Family, The Portrait, The Body Politic, The Performance and The Street.


Some of the unsettling photos from the exhibit revolve around the time period of when Bangladesh fought for its independence from Pakistan. Using extremely violent methods, Pakistani president Yahya Khan had many civilians killed, expressly shown in one picture of what appears to be a marble sculpture among rocks but is actually a "dismembered head of an intellectual killed 14 December 1971 by local collaborators of Pakistani army." (below, left)

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From the past to the present, photographers such as Nandini Muthiah, Rashid Talukder, Munem Wasif, Mohammad Arif Ali, Rashid Rana, Dayanita Singh and more beautifully capture the essence of each nation.


More images after the jump.

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