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Matinee: Anne de Henning Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

5 November 2022

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 473rd in our series of Saturday matinees today: Anne de Henning at the Guimet Museum of Asian Art.

This 3:39 presentation, filmed and edited by Peter Cairns, explores the exhibition Witnessing History in the Making: Photographs by Anne de Henning at the Guimet Museum of Asian Art in Paris.

On exhibit are the French photographer’s previously unpublished photographs of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War and post-independent Bangladesh in 1972.

Those images document the birth of a nation as East Pakistan transformed into Bangladesh 50 years ago.

The clip shows several of the images in depth while exploring the exhibit with de Henning herself.

The earliest photographs from 1971 cover de Henning's first visit to the country when she was 25 years old. She was one of the first photojournalists to enter Bangladesh after the declaration of war, when there was little news emerging from the country.

She recalls, "The first striking memory I have is of my crossing to East Pakistan from India in the blistering heat and dead silence."

Recalling her first encounter with the Mukti Bahini, a guerrilla resistance movement of military, paramilitary and civilians, she says, "I saw a handful of young Mukti Bahinis stepping out of their makeshift observation post flanked by a tall bamboo pole flying the green, red and yellow Bangladesh flag. They greeted me by saying with broad smiles, 'You are now in free Bangladesh!'"

"I was always thinking what happens to the news of today," she says at the end of this video. "It becomes history. That's what happens."

The exhibit opened Oct. 19 and runs through Jan. 23, 2023 at the Guimet Museum of Asian Art in Paris

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