December 29, 2008

“Fidel in Kolkata” photo exhibition

KOLKATA, 26 December : West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee inaugurated, here on Friday, an exhibition of photographs taken during the great revolutionary, Fidel Castro’s, brief visit to the city in September 1973.

Mr. Castro visited the city only once — on his way back from Hanoi — and that too for less than an hour. But the memories of that short visit, captured in the photographs taken by the late photographer Satya Sen, will give city residents the opportunity of reliving the past at the “Fidel in Kolkata” exhibition.

Organised by the Prabha Khaitan Foundation in collaboration with Nandan-West Bengal Film Centre and the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba, 35 rare black and white photographs of Mr. Castro’s visit to the city will be displayed to celebrate the 35th anniversary of his visit as well as the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.

Mr. Bhattacharjee felt that this exposition would provide an opportunity for all people who were unaware of Mr. Castro’s visit, to savour those moments. He said the former President of Cuba had been an inspiration to people worldwide.

“Fresh in your memories should be legendary football player, Maradona’s visit to the city. His affection for Fidel and Cuba are well known…I can imagine that the same crowds were drawn by Fidel when he came to the city,” said Miguel Angel Ramirez Ramos, Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba.

He added that the message behind the exhibition was of friendship, solidarity and mutually shared values in a better world where social justice could prevail. Left Front Chairman Biman Basu, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury and eminent filmmakers Mrinal Sen and Goutam Ghosh were also present at the ceremony.

Referring to Mr. Castro’s famous speech — “… History will absolve me,” Mr. Basu said that history had already absolved the great leader who had become history himself.

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