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Photographer :: Golam Kasem Daddy » Features Portfolio All Images
Golam Kasem, nick named Daddy, the earliest photographer of Bangladesh, was born on the 5th of November 1894, in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal. His photography for pleasure began in the school days when he bought a quarter sized Ensign Box camera with the savings of bus fare to school and began taking photographs of the things he loved, animals, flowers and children. Importantly he preserved those negatives. In his archive there are glass plate negatives dating back to 1918. The harbour in Calcutta, early steam engines, the Gurkha regiment in shorts, and large number of portraits are as if the glimpses of history. His spontaneous pictures were those of animals and children, and amongst them are some gems. “Her first dance” is a delicate photograph of a child amidst a twirl, centre stage with her family as an audience. Strong portraits of his friend a teacher and the calm portrait of his grandmother also add to the list. The founder of the Camera Recreation Club, Daddy arranged regular meetings at his house in Indira Road where the club was housed. Regular visitors included poet Sufia Kamal, painter Qamrul Hassan and photographer Manzoor Alam Beg. Daddy was the first Bengali Muslim short story writer. He used to write regularly for Shawgat, and continued to write, both technical articles on photography for the BPS newsletter, and short stories for general publication. Always articulate, on his 100th birthday, at the opening of a joint photographic exhibition by him and Manzoor Alam Beg at the Drik Gallery, he talked eloquently of how photography was the way for people of the world to make friends, to break barriers, to discover one another. As the chief guest at the opening of the 1996 World Press Photo, he talked of his own struggle to overcome the limitations of an ageing body. “My body says no, but my mind says you must, and in the end it is the mind that wins.” On Friday the 9th January 1998, at the age of 104 , this legendary photographer passes away.
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