In 1956, she started her career as a photojournalist in Begum
Sayeeda Khanam, the first female professional photographer of Bangladesh, passed away in Dhaka early Tuesday.
She was 83.
The photographer, who had been suffering from old age complications, breathed her last at her residence in Banani around 3am.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed deep shock and sorrow at the death of Sayeeda Khanam.
In a condolence message, the premier said Sayeeda Khanam will live forever in the heart of people through her works.
Sheikh Hasina prayed for eternal salvation of the departed soul and expressed sympathy to the bereaved family.
KM Khalid, state minister for cultural affairs, also expressed deep shock and sorrow at the demise of the famed photographer.
Born on December 29, 1937 in Pabna, Sayeeda Khanam completed her masters in Bengali literature and Library Science from the Dhaka University.
Being inspired to pursue photography from her aunt poet Mahmuda Khatun Siddique, she started photography at the age of only 13.
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In 1956, she started her career as a photojournalist in Begum, the only newspaper dedicated to women at that time. Her photographs were published in many national and international newspapers including the Observer, Morning News, and Ittefaq. She also captured many important events of the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.
She covered many national and international events. She worked as a photographer with renowned filmmaker Satyajit Ray in three of his films.
Khanam worked as a librarian in seminar library of Bengali Literature Department of the Dhaka University from 1974 to 1986.
After the war, she volunteered as a nurse in Holy Family Hospital for a while.
Khanam had her first international exhibition in 1956 after participating in the International Photo and Cinema Exhibition, Cologne.
In the same year, her works were displayed in an international photography exhibition held in Dhaka and later exhibited in international competitions in Japan, France, Sweden, Pakistan, and Cyprus.
Her works on Mother Teresa, Rabindra Sangeet singer Konika Bandopadhaya, and Satyajit Ray were also exhibited in Dhaka.
In 1960, she received an award in All Pakistan Photo Contest and in 1985 she was honored with Unesco Award for photography.
She received many other awards from several national and international organizations and was a lifetime member of Bangladesh Mahila Samity and Bangla Academy.