Exhibition 'Gaza Holocaust: Killing the Truthtellers'

Dhaka, May 5 2024

Press Release

Exhibition 'Gaza Holocaust: Killing the Truthtellers' and panel discussion ‘Western hypocrisy on Press Freedom’

organised by Drik to mark World Press Freedom Day 2024

Since October 7, 2023, the Israeli occupation force has killed thousands of Palestinian civilians, including women and children, turning Gaza and the West Bank into a war zone. Despite worldwide calls for a ceasefire, Israeli forces have reportedly killed 142 media persons in their line of duty. The war has claimed the lives of more than 35,000 people, including over 34,000 Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, and 1,200 deaths in Israel.

While freedom is plundered and freedom of expression is gagged around the world, to mark the World Press Freedom Day 2024, Drik Picture Library organised an exhibition titled 'Gaza Holocaust: Killing the Truthtellers' and a panel discussion ‘Western Hypocrisy on Press Freedom’ earlier this evening at DrikPath Bhobon in Dhaka.

Curated by ASM Rezaur Rahman, the exhibition pays tribute to the death of the truthtellers and displays protest against Israeli atrocities in Palestine. The inauguration was followed by a panel discussion where Meghna Guhathakurta, Executive Director of Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB), Nurul Kabir, Editor of English daily New Age and Zahed Ur Rahman, scholar and political analyst spoke as the panelists. The session was moderated by Shahidul Alam, Managing Director of Drik.

Shahidul Alam began the discussion by stating, "Today's discussion revolves around activities of Western countries that talk about democracy. As we speak, many people are still dying. We have to digest a lot due to the hegemony of the West, but the topic today is which country is more peaceful.”

Zahed Ur Rahman stated, "The significant newspapers of the world like the Washington Post or the New York Times, whose words we believe are true, they set their agenda, they have double standards. All genocides are preceded by a process of dehumanisation through the politics of words. All media houses have economic and geopolitical interests. Apart from this, many journalists who want to work independently cannot get out of their personal cognitive biases. We live in a very complex world, where nothing can be generalised. The West has created rules including human rights but they rarely follow those.”

Meghna Guhathakurta said, “There is such a deep-rooted concept of narrowness in the Western media that this hypocrisy originates from there. These characteristics must be understood to understand their media character and media expression. How does Western thinking come about? Who are the policymakers? How come the victims are never included in the formulation of these policies? Their voices remain unheard."

Nurul Kabir explained, “As the freedom fighters of our independence war were terrorists to the Pakistanis, so are Palestinian freedom-seekers to the West. All these issues need to be understood politically. First of all, there is no Israeli-Palestinian war because war takes place between countries with similar capacity, but the two sides differ greatly in terms of military strength. The current situation is all about control, capital, and power. Those in power use propaganda to establish control and legitimise their actions. This West hypocrisy is linked to settler colonialism. Through constant propaganda to the masses, the West creates a narrative of its political positions through various means. All these state activities should be understood with politics, colonialism, and capitalism and protests should continue. Today's concerns are caused by capitalism, racism, and colonialism, and the state promotes these through the media.”

The exhibition will remain open to the public till May 11, 2024, every day from 3 pm to 8 pm.

Published: May 6, 2024

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