Rahul Talukder, a documentary photographer from Sunamganj, Sylhet, was selected from over 87,000 entries to the Professional competition for a series titled “Faded history of the lost”. The work is a poignant series capturing the missing posters of those who lost their lives in the Rana Plaza collapse in April 2013.
In 2014, Talukder was shortlisted for the Sony World Photography Awards’ Student Focus competition, one of the world’s largest programmes for photography students.
Talking about his win Talukdar commented, “I am totally surprised after hearing this wonderful news. It’s really a great honour for me to be recognized among so many strong works.’
The photographer was presented his award and the latest Sony digital imaging equipment at a gala ceremony held in London attended by industry leaders. The winning series will be shown at the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards exhibition at Somerset House, London and will be published in the 2015 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards book.
Now in its eighth year, the Sony World Photography Awards annually presents the world’s best contemporary photography across a range of genres and is the world’s largest photography competition. It is an authoritative voice in the photographic world and attracts both emerging talent and established artists.
The awards’ international judging juries are comprised of esteemed industry experts and the competition offers incredible exposure, credibility and recognition not only to its winners, but also those on its shortlist. The 2015 awards attracted recording breaking entries, with 173,444 images submitted from 171 countries, confirming its position as the world’s biggest photography competition.
Winning series and photographer
Rahul Talukder is a documentary photographer born in Bangladesh in 1991. In 2011, he joined Pathshala to study documentary photography. Since then, he has won World Press Photo Award and been recognised by the Ian Parry Scholarship and is also one of the winners of Magnum Photos 30 Under 30.
Describing the work “Faded history of the lost”, Rahul Talukder commented, ‘On April 24, 2013 the world witnessed the biggest garment factory accident till date. Rana Plaza, An eight story commercial building collapsed during morning rush hour in Savar, Bangladesh and resulted in a death toll of more than eleven hundred and over two thousand five hundred injured.
‘While the search goes on for those buried under collapsed walls, another wall gets filled with pictures of the missing. The posters are a last cry for help, as the ghosts of the victims wouldn’t even recognize themselves in these poster weathered down by the rain and the sun as they come and go – taking with them slowly any hope of more victim rising out of the rubble. Will someone come and stand next to their pictures? Why did they take these pictures?
‘We don’t know these people on the posters; just like we didn’t know those men and women who worked there day after day. We do not know those who were buried alive – their dreams, passions, ambitions. But as they get wet with rain, and wrinkled by the sun – they stare out at you and me and whisper ‘I was somebody. Do not forget me.’