a woman's war, photography, research

in memoriam: Fauzilla Tunnesa Bulu

Fauzilla Tunnesa Bulu, known to many as Bulu Khala, was born in 1919 in then-India. Fifty-two-years old when the Liberation War broke out, she is the oldest woman included in “A Woman’s War” from any country thus far.  Bulu Khala was a key driving force throughout the Liberation War, working to maintain the Kuchbihar refugee camp, as well as recruit and prepare mukti bahini (Bangladeshi guerrilla fighters) for battle. Last week, at the age of 93, living in rural Rangpur with her children and their families, Bulu Khala passed away.

When I met Bulu Khala in June 2011 at her home in Rangpur, in far northwest Bangladesh, she could barely speak – her family and friends provided much of this information on her behalf.  Though she found it difficult to move without assistance, just before we were leaving, she took my hand, kissed it, and quietly said I love you.  She then took my face and kissed it three times. Right, left, forehead. I love you.

She had barely known me for an hour.  I’ll never forget it.

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a woman's war, editorial, photography

GlobalPost: Bothaina Kamel

“Writing’s Egypt’s history, with revolution in her DNA,” a profile on Bothaina Kamel, Egypt’s first female presidential hopeful, out in GlobalPost today.  I shadowed Ms. Kamel on a recent trip to Tanta to speak at a TEDx event there.

On the precipice of these presidential elections, Kamel recognizes how definitive this time is in Egypt. No matter who wins, she says, “we’re writing our own history.”

Click here to view the full article.

Image at top: Bothaina Kamel greets supporters after her TEDx Tanta talk, May 2012.

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a woman's war, photography, research

a woman’s war: Bangladesh

An updated version of “A Woman’s War: Bangladesh.”  As featured on FotoVisura and as FotoVisura’s Photo of the Day.

A Woman’s War

This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the birth of Bangladesh, a nation that emerged from a bloody fight for independence from Pakistan. The story of Bangladesh’s liberation struggle is one that is well told and well remembered by the nation; the official narratives are retold and exchanged often – and often by heart.  Stories of the origins of the movement, of its key players and events, of its Freedom Fighters, or mukti juddha, who came together to fight for Bangladeshi independence and emerged victorious in December 1971 after nine months of intense guerrilla warfare, are recounted in schoolbooks and events across the country, month after month, year after year. Continue reading

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