THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Reminiscenses of things past are usually nostalgic. But the history expo being organised as part of the CPM state conference at Nayanar Park, Putharikandam Maidan, sheds light on the murky days of the bygone centuries which bear the imprint of a heartless world. However, the photo and poster show should enlighten the students of history as well as those who have an interest to know about the past.
Though hundreds of photographs and posters have been showcased at the expo, the first section at the entrance comprising 10 well-known photos selected from the thousands of photos captured in the last century will definitely leave the onlooker stunned. Selected by noted film director Shaji N Karun, the photos unravel a war-ravaged world which had not even spared women and children.
The agony of a little girl sitting speechless before the mutilated body of her mother in Saigon during the Vietnam war (1968) would make one speechless.
But the picture of a man facing death in the electric chair is the one which would make you feel the bitter chill of death. The picture snapped in the year 1900 sheds light on the barbarous character of the modern man, though he is clad in modern attire.
A French war veteran exposing his disfigurement as he takes part in the victory celebration after World War I; the face of a tiny tot, a victim of the world’s worst industrial disaster, the gas leak at Union Carbide plant at Bhopal (1984) with her eyes opened towards a yet-to-be-dead conscience of humanity; a Buddhist monk setting himself ablaze in protest against the Saigon Government’s anti-Buddhist activities during the Vietnam war (1963); the cremation of Mahatma Gandhi and the pointless slaughter of Communists in Shanghai by desperate Kuomintang Police (1948) are providing food for thought and sufficient reasons to ponder over the beastly nature of the human race.
A large section of the expo is dedicated to the Communist revolutionaries who had become legends in their own times. Proper attention has been given to depict the contributions of legendary leaders like EMS, AKG, renaissance leaders and unending sagas of the rebellions of the countless people who sacrificed their lives for emancipation and struggle to regain lost dignity.
Sukumar Azhikode, a darling of the leftist forces till his death despite his Gandhian credentials, gets a prime spot in the show.
Along with the history expo, screening of well-known films and video shows also has been arranged. A book fest also is being held as part of the conference at the expo venue.