Commemorating the tragic August 21 grenade massacre, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) organized an exclusive photography and public art exhibition on Monday day titled 'August 21: A Barbaric Bloodshed' at the Academy's Nandan Mancha premises.

The event was organized by the Fine Arts Department of BSA and supported by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.

State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid joined the event as the chief guest, while internationally acclaimed artist Shahabuddin Ahmed was present as the special guest. The event was presided over by BSA director general Liaquat Ali Lucky.

"After the 2004 grenade attack, those who were the 'Razakar' and the opposition parties of the Liberation War, referred to it as a staged drama. The tragic history of the August 21 massacre must be demonstrated to the people by organizing events like this in every district," KM Khalid said at the event.

Eminent artist Shahabuddin Ahmed and secretary of the Academy Salahuddin Ahmed also spoke at the event, while BSA Fine Arts department director artist Syeda Mahbuba Karim gave the welcome speech.

Photojournalist Mir Farid shared his first-person experience regarding what he witnessed on the day as he was covering the event at the capital's Bangabandhu Avenue, while artist Abhijit Chowdhury, curator of the public art exhibition, described the artistic initiative.

After the discussion session and opening announcement, all senior officials of the Academy including the chief guest, special guest and director general visited the photo and public art exhibition.

Monday was the 19th anniversary of the heinous attack, aimed after current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the then-opposition leader who was addressing a crowd of 20,000 people from the back of a truck at the venue.

At least 24 people were killed including Sheikh Hasina's bodyguard Mahbubur Rahman and Awami League Women's Affairs Secretary at that time, Ivy Rahman, who died from her injuries three days later.

Around 300 people were injured in that cruel grenade attack on an Awami League rally at Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina narrowly escaped the attack with an ear injury.

All the photojournalists who risked their lives in the horror of the grenade attack on August 21 and participated in this exhibition are - Mir Farid, Habibur Rahman, Zia Islam, Riaz Ahmed Sumon and Sheikh Hasan, among the others.

Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy has been organizing installation art, photography, performance art and public art exhibitions every year since 2016 to highlight the terrible image of the horrendous 21 August grenade attack.

The exhibition is open to all from August 21-23 from 11 am to 8 pm.

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