Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Ian Spratt’s How Lucky We Are

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 25th February, 2011

The Royal Commonwealth Club in London’s Northumberland Avenue this evening launched an impressive exhibition of black-and-white images from Bangladesh by award-winning photographer Ian Spratt, in the presence of guest of honour, my local MP (and former political opponent) Jim Fitzpatrick. Ian Spratt first established links with the country back in 1985. The following year, he photographed infants at an orphanage in Bangladesh, where British air hostess Pat Kerr discovered a new vocation in life as fundraiser and consciousness-raiser to meet the needs of the most marginalised children, who were then raised in Sreepur Village. Ten years later, Ian Spratt — who had been named Photographer of the Year in 1986 for his images of Bangladeshi children — returned, found his previous subjects and re-photographed them. On seeing the earlier images, his daughter had commented ‘How lucky we are!’ in comparison. But the second visit prompted Ian Spratt to reflect on how lucky the young Bangladeshi adults he was photographing in 1996 were, having been given a second chance in life. To complete the story, he has now made a new set of images of the same people, a quarter of a century after the first. Each portrait is therefore part of a trio of powerful, even life-enhancing snapshots. The exhibition will run until 28 March and prints are for sale.

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