Art & Culture Report : The first solo photography exhibition of talented photographer Sumon Yusuf titled ‘Life & Struggle of Padma’ is being held at the La Galerie of the Alliance Francaise de Dhaka (AFD) in the city’s Dhanmondi are now. Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed, Chairperson and Chief Executive of Bishwa Shahittya Kendro, inaugurated the exhibition as the chief guest, while Morshedul Islam, country’s reputed filmmaker and A Qudrat E Khoda, Managing Director of Systech Unimax Ltd, were also present as guest of honour and special guest respectively in the opening ceremony. In the exhibition, photographer Sumon Yusuf tries to depict the universal relationship between the mighty River Padma and the life and struggle of people surrounding it. Around 20 documentary photographs on the topic titled ‘Life & Struggle of Padma’ are on display during the two-week long exhibition. The photographer wishes that his photographs will not only be an object of aesthetic delight for the viewers but also help raise awareness amongst people to come forward to save the River Padma. The ancient civilisations of Bangladesh were surrounded by many rivers. The Padma is the second largest river in Bangladesh and is the main distributaries of the Ganges, which originates from the Gangotri glacier in the Himalayas. In Hindu mythology, the River Padma is one of the embodiments of the Goddess Laxmi. The bed of the Padma is wide but over the years, due to climate change and diversion of its natural path, it is becoming increasingly narrow and dry. During the monsoon season, flooding and erosion of the Padma often causes environmental and economic catastrophes. Among the myriad subjects for photography in Bangladesh, politics, violence, disaster, and crisis have figured extensively. Yet, as one born in this multicultural country, photographer Sumon Yusuf believes there is a great opportunity to portray lives and struggles of its people with the river through photography. He has been capturing photos focusing on the life and struggle of the Padma river rather boldly and in detail as a full body of work are shown in his first solo photo exhibition. Sumon Yusuf graduated in English Literature and studied Visual Literacy at Asian Centre for Journalism of Ateneo de Manila University from Philippines. He also attended one-year diploma programme on Photojournalism at South Asian Media Institute, Pathshala. His works have been exhibited in USA, Australia, Japan, Bangladesh and the 9th Angkor Photo Festival in Siem Reap, Cambodia. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his work including Top Prize of IREX Photo Contest in Washington DC, USA, Winner of the 1st Prize in the ‘Creation’ category of the 1st JP’s Prize for Contemporary Photography Competition in Bangladesh, 3rd place winner of Anti Corruption Youth Photo Contest of Transparency International, Berlin, Germany, Winner of The 73rd International Photographic Salon of Japan, Asahi Simbun, Winner of CGAP Microfinance Photo Contest in USA, Winner of People & Planet Photo Contest in Australia, Finalist of Nikon International Photo Contest, Japan, Finalist of Health Worker’s Count Photo Contest of WHO, Finalist in Garuda Indonesia International Photo contest, Nomination for the Joop Swart Masterclass by World Press Photo Foundation from Netherlands. He did many documentary photography projects as well as conducted several photography workshops around the country. His works have been published in many national and international newspapers and magazines. The exhibition will continue till February 6.