Tabassum Ahmed initiated #dhakainred, a photo series on Instagram, to showcase the beauty of Dhaka. We spoke to participants of the series on the Independence Day of Bangladesh.
"People always complain about Dhaka's traffic, population, and pollution. But the city has many beautiful experiences to offer. Its uniqueness lies in its history," shared Tabassum, who feels that using Instagram as a platform can connect both local and international users to the rich history of Dhaka.
The project began with a photo walk and photoshoot, joined by numerous women. Tabassum chose locations that are significant to Dhaka's history and architecture, including the lanes of Old Dhaka, Dhakeshwari Temple, Armenian Church, and the Central Shaheed Minar. She named the campaign #dhakainred, as the colour red is highlighted against different backgrounds or textures. She conceived the idea earlier in 2020, but things had to be halted due to the pandemic.
Tabassum, who is pursuing her PhD at the University of Huddersfield, UK, eventually conducted the photoshoot in Dhaka in December 2020. Tasnim Ferdous, one of the participants, grew up in Dhaka. She saw this endeavour as an amazing opportunity to discover her city by visiting its different corners and learning about its history.
Zaima Hamid Zoa came up with another version of the hashtag, as she started a photo series featuring her favourite trilogy. "I decided to use a book in this challenge spontaneously, as I was strolling by Lalbagh Fort with the book, "A Darker Shade of Magic", which has a red cover," she shared. Her second series featured the University of Dhaka, while the last one took viewers on a tour of places relating to different religions in Old Dhaka.
Tabassum intends to continue representing the true spirit of different cities of Bangladesh, through her Instagram handle, @tabassumtrails.
The author is a freelance journalist who likes reading, planning and scribbling. Write to her at email@example.com.