5 reasons why you had to be at Litmosphere’s “A Thousand Words 2018”
The phenomenon of Bookstagramming - posting book-themed photos on Instagram - is hardly new, and yet oft-overlooked. Litmosphere, an online book club with thousands of members, decided to validate this art form by organizing the first ever Book Photography exhibition. On 17-18 August, bibliophiles across the nation gathered at Gallery Chitrak to celebrate 2 years of Litmosphere at a one of a kind Bookstagramming exhibition.
Here are five reasons, amongst many, why ‘A Thousand Words’ was an event to watch:
With so many events happening around town, what made this one any different? Everything about it, really. While Dhaka City has its fair share of run-of-the-mill boi melas and exhibitions, finding one as unique as Litmosphere’s may prove to be quite the challenge. The event was the first of its kind here in Bangladesh - if not in the entire world. A Thousand Words was an exhibition where large prints came alive from the tiny screens of our Insta feeds with exclusively bookworm friendly aesthetics. Litmosphere caught on to the current trend of beautiful aesthetics, and according to them, if being trendy gets you hooked on books then we’re doing it right as a generation for once.
Imbue presents Litmosphere’s ‘A Thousand Words’ struck the perfect balance between picturesque aesthetics and a love of books. The two day exhibition showcased stunning photos captured by members of the club and selected by prominent photographers Sazzad Ibne Sayed, Mahmud Hossain Opu and Munem Wasif.
Lazy afternoons spent reading in the grass, bustling train rides and the rustle of old leaves; the wide-eyed gazes of curious minds and the smell of coffee beans wafting through the air - these are the scenes that make a bookworm’s dream, and to find them one need not look further than the walls of the exhibition. Each photo wove its own tale of how each photographer viewed their reading experience.
While the photographs were showstoppers in their own right, their skillful placement, courtesy of Jewel Paul, intensified the feelings they evoked amongst spectators. The sequence of pieces in addition to the use of props such as vines and rusted bicycles created an interactive viewing experience amongst spectators.
Mohammad Abdul Gofur, affectionately referred to as Litmama, is a simple man. Despite losing his left arm in a train accident at the young age of fourteen, he’s been working the streets at Bijoy Shoroni as a book vendor for almost 25 years now. The scorching heat of the sun is unforgiving, and often, so are his customers. At his age, this work is difficult. Mama wants nothing more than to spread the joy of reading from a store he can call his own.
In a twist of fate, he caught Litmosphere’s attention and captured their hearts. Through an auction selling Litmama’s books, as well as their own originals, Kindles and more, Litmosphere raised a humble amount of 1 lakh, which they handed over to him during the event. With teary eyes and a cracked voice, Mama said, “I have nothing to give them except for all the gratitude my heart can hold, I wish them all the happiness this world has to offer.”
The exhibition had everything a bookworm could dream of - books, bookmarks, candles and so much more. With every corner you turned, you were bound to see a cozy nook with a bibliophile hunched over in concentration or like-minded individuals having intellectual conversation over a hot cup of coffee. A Thousand Words breathed life into the lungs of comedians, musicians and storytellers with their storytelling session for children and an open mic for those forever young at heart.
For the organizers, the event was a joyous celebration filled with warm hugs and the excitement from meeting your virtual family in real life. For onlookers, the event allowed a glimpse into the world of bibliophiles and bookstagrammers.
A Thousand Words was the brainchild of Litmosphere founder Rubaiya Tasnim Chowdhury and her partner in crime Amimul Ihsan, brought to life with the help of Ramisa Chowdhury, Arham Al Ahmad Siddique, Mahinoor Ekram, Tarin Fatema, Tajkia Mostafa Khadem, Tabassum Irin, Shahbaz Amin Bhuiyan, Ariz Hoque, Elita Karim and Sabrina Fatma Ahmad, and made successful by the efforts of volunteers, campus ambassadors and sponsors.