Boomerang

Before Shahbag. Police pepper spray and water cannon Communist Party strike. Source: BdNews24.com

Before Shahbag. Police pepper spray and water cannon Communist Party strike. Source: BdNews24.com

Boomerang
by Naeem Mohaiemen
[Edited version of this was published in Dhaka Tribune]

When you ask an already powerful state to expand their powers further, so as to pummel those you oppose, don’t be surprised if the state also decides to use that power against you.Continue Reading

Killing Print Culture: Must FORUM Die?

Forum_March2013

Daily Star has announced that FORUM, it’s long-running monthly magazine, will close down as a “cost-saving” measure. FORUM was originally published in the 1960s/70s, with an editorial board that included Hameeda Hossain, Rehman Sobhan, and others. It was revived in the 00’s with Zafar Sobhan as editor. For last few years, Kajalie Shahreen Islam is the editor. It is the country’s only monthly magazine of serious, long-form, non-fiction essays in English.Continue Reading

Dr. Perween Hasan: David Nalin, “friend from overseas” or smuggler of antiquities?

Mohammad Shahjahan, ‘Smuggling of Antiquities worth one crore’ in Weekly Bichitra ,  November 18, 1977, p 1

Mohammad Shahjahan, ‘Smuggling of Antiquities worth one crore’ in Weekly Bichitra , November 18, 1977, p 1

David Nalin: friend or smuggler of antiquities?
Guest Post by Dr. Perween Hasan

I was surprised and angered to read a report in the daily Prothom Alo (March 30, 2013) entitled ‘ This country is destined to march forward: an interview with David Nalin, a friend from overseas’. Continue Reading

We wish to inform you: A history of censorship in Bangladesh (1972-2012)

© Daily Star

© Daily Star

We wish to inform you
A history of censorship in Bangladesh (1972-2012)
by Naeem Mohaiemen
[An abbreviated version of this was published in Daily Star's FORUM magazine]

I first started researching Bangladeshi censorship cases during a relatively minor incident­– the 2007 “Mohammed Biral” (Mohammed cat) cartoon controversy in the satirical magazine Alpin. A list of post-1971 cases was meant to be the appendix to a sarcastic essay, “Save us from cats”. The piece was, appropriately enough, rejected by the newspapers. “Too sensitive a subject,” I was told. Let sleeping cats lie, as it were.

In the years since 2007, I kept adding items to this list, and was gradually struck by theContinue Reading