Andrew Biraj first judge for MUD Africa Photography/Short Film Competition 2012

Andrew Biraj – Lecturer at Pathshala, South Asian Institute of Photography, Dhaka and staff photographer at Reuters since 2008, has been announced the first judge for the MUD Africa Photography/Short Film Competition 2012 

Andrew Biraj

“Throughout the years I have documented  numerous stories including  political brutality, people?s protest against coal mine, cancer survivors, Jute mill workers, land mine victims, climate refugees and the solitude life of my old grandma”
Andrew holds an Advanced Diploma in Photography from Pathshala in Dhaka and B.A (Hons) in Photography from the University of Bolton, UK in 2005. He has traveled through Afghanistan, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Bangladesh and some parts of Europe to pursue his own work as a social documentary photographer.
His works have been published in, The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Lens blog of NYT, 100, Verve Photo, The Guardian, The Observer Magazine, The Times, The Independent of UK, National Geographic online, Le Monde, Courrier International, Stern, Christian Science Monitor, Washington Post, Boston Globe Big Pictures, Globe and Mail, Sydney Morning Herald, Vancouver Sun, Asian GEO, Himal Southasian, Hindustan Times, New Age, Forum Magazine of Daily Star and in many other international publications.
About the Competition:
MUD Africa is proud to host its first annual Photography/ Short Film Competition 2012.
MUD Africa (Mobilizing + Uniting Development in Africa is an NGO working to better the lives of Malawians as advocates of land and housing rights. Malawi is one of the most rapidly urbanizing countries in the world at a rate of 6.3 percent per year. That is three times the global rate and nearly twice that of the African rate. Unfortunately, the economy lacks proportional growth measures necessary to address and reduce poverty levels, and epidemic becoming more visible in the increasing manifestation of informal settlements (slums). Mutually reinforcing conditions of these settlements include poor infrastructure, water and sanitation, substandard housing with insecure tenure and a lack of basic social services.
MUD Africa is an advocate for ‘the Right to Adequate Housing’ as recognized under the International Bill of Human Rights. As part of MUD Africa’s engagement in shelter, we are first developing a photo documentary series, which will begin in April 2012. The theme being ‘the Right to Adequate Housing’. The project is intended to stimulate global awareness while securing local plans of action.
MUD Africa first wants to see what YOUR definition of ‘adequate’ (or less than adequate) housing/ living conditions LOOKS LIKE – documented through photography or a short film. Each entry is to be based on one of the seven components that defines ‘adequate’ as determined by the Committee of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Those seven compenents include:
1) Legal security of tenure
2) Availability of services, material, facilities and infrastructure
3) Affordability
4) Habitability
5) Accessibility
6) Location
7) Cultural adequacy
More information on these can be found here (look at point 8, then a, b, c, … : doc.nsf/0/ 469f4d91a9378221c12563ed005 3547e
You may enter an individual photo only once (so chose the most appropriate category for it), though you may enter more than one photo. The photo/ video must be yours and you must own full copyright. You will give MUD Africa the right to reproduce the photo/video with full credit given. Each photo must be accompanied with a written statement of what/how it shows one of the definitions of ‘adequate’ and if/how you would like to see it improved (using sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions where applicable).
To enter, send your high-resolution photo/ video to with your name, age, location, where the photo was taken, the title, the category you wish to enter it into and the written description. IMPORTANT: The subject line of your email should state: name/photo or video/ name of category entered. (Example: Maria de la Guardia / Photo/ Availability of Services)
The deadline will be March 9th, 2012 at 11pm GMT.
There will be one winner and one runner-up announced for each category. The winners will recieve a certificate and the photo/ video will go on display at the 212 Pier Gallery in LA, and at a fundraiser event in London, as well as on the MUD Africa website.

Author: Shahidul Alam

Time Magazine Person of the Year 2018. A photographer, writer, curator and activist, Shahidul Alam obtained a PhD in chemistry before switching to photography. His seminal work “The Struggle for Democracy” contributed to the removal of General Ershad. Former president of the Bangladesh Photographic Society, Alam set up the Drik agency, Chobi Mela festival and Pathshala, South Asian Media Institute, considered one of the finest schools of photography in the world. Shown in MOMA New York, Centre Georges Pompidou, Royal Albert Hall and Tate Modern, Alam has been guest curator of Whitechapel Gallery, Winterthur Gallery and Musee de Quai Branly. His awards include Mother Jones, Shilpakala Award and Lifetime Achievement Award at the Dali International Festival of Photography. Speaker at Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Oxford and Cambridge universities, TEDx, POPTech and National Geographic, Alam chaired the international jury of the prestigious World Press Photo contest. Honorary Fellow of Royal Photographic Society, Alam is visiting professor of Sunderland University in UK and advisory board member of National Geographic Society. John Morris, the former picture editor of Life Magazine describes his book “My journey as a witness”, (listed in “Best Photo Books of 2011” by American Photo), as “The most important book ever written by a photographer.”

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