NPR logo Spotlight On Rashid Talukder, Pioneering Bangladeshi Photographer

National Geographic

Spotlight On Rashid Talukder, Pioneering Bangladeshi Photographer

Although Rashid Talukder is a pioneering photographer, and has been in the business for nearly 50 years, his name is probably unfamiliar. Which is kind of the point: This year, he has been honored by National Geographic with a pioneer photographer award in the All Roads Photography Program — part of the All Roads Film Festival, a week-long event spotlighting underrepresented minority cultures. The festival, underway this week, features 30 films and an outdoor exhibit of work by three honorees: an emerging, mid-career and pioneering photographer.

Born in India to Bangladeshi parents in 1939, Talukder first set foot in a darkroom at age six. He spent his first years as a press photographer with the Daily Sangbad in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Later Talukder joined the Daily Ittefaq, where he remained for 29 years, photographing daily life and, most notably, the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 against Pakistan.

Very few of Talukder's photographs can be seen on the Internet, although he does keep a vast archive of photographs that he plans to digitize. "Such a library will allow the memory of my country's history to be preserved," he writes in a personal statement. "My hope is that it will also help the development of photography and contemporary culture in both its practice and discourse into the future."

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View more photographs by the other two nominees, Tomas Munita (Chile) and Sumit Dayal (Kashmir). Learn more about the All Roads Festival.

Emerging photographer honoree Sumit Dayal focuses on daily life in Kashmir. At dawn hundreds of vendors carrying their produce congregate at the floating vegetable market in Dal Lake. Sumit Dayal, 2009 hide caption

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Sumit Dayal, 2009

Emerging photographer honoree Sumit Dayal focuses on daily life in Kashmir. At dawn hundreds of vendors carrying their produce congregate at the floating vegetable market in Dal Lake.

Sumit Dayal, 2009

Chilean mid-career honoree Tomas Munita focuses on the Loa Rover in Chile. Near Caspana, clouds form before a rare downpour after eight years of complete drought. Tomas Munita hide caption

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Tomas Munita

Chilean mid-career honoree Tomas Munita focuses on the Loa Rover in Chile. Near Caspana, clouds form before a rare downpour after eight years of complete drought.

Tomas Munita