As Drik as Possible

Introduction to the Drik 2016 calendar.

A behind the scenes glimpse at a remarkable media phenomenon:

The dot matrix Olivetti printer was noisy. The XT computer came without a hard drive: two floppy disks uploaded the operating system. When the electricity went (as it often did), we had to reload it. Our bathroom doubled as our darkroom. A clunky metal cabinet housed our prints, slides, negatives and files. Md. Anisur Rahman and Abu Naser Siddique were our printers; I was photographer, manager, copy editor and part-time janitor. Cheryle Yin-Lo, an Australian who had read about us in a western magazine, joined as our librarian. We offered and she happily accepted a local salary.

Continue reading “As Drik as Possible”

Majority World exhibition in Rome: Justice in Focus

IDLO Photo Exhibition in Rome
Farnesina Porte Aperte 2015
22 – 29 May 2015

justice in focus in rome

IDLO’s photo exhibition “In Focus: Justice and the Post-2015 Agenda” will form part of this year’s initiative by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to open its doors to the general public. From 22 until 29 May 2015, visitors will be able to participate in “Farnesina Porte Aperte” and view the exhibition during guided tours of the building. The Farnesina’s art collection is internationally recognized, and IDLO is proud to have been chosen to exhibit alongside this.

The photographs were also featured by The Guardian.
guardian piece on justice in focus

Curated by IDLO and the photo agency Majority World, the exhibition focuses on the challenges of development and the rule of law. From gender equality and indigenous rights to energy poverty and land tenure, it presents the rule of law as lived experience. The pictures vividly explore the human side of the rule of law and its importance in everyday life.
 
?In Focus: Justice and the Post-2015 Agenda? illustrates these themes through 32 images – taken by photographers from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, India and Kenya – ranging from the Amazonian settlement of Colniza, Brazil, where rule of law measures have reversed illegal logging and deforestation, to the energy-starved metropolis of Kibera, Africa?s largest slum.
 
To sign up for a guided tour, please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation?s Farnesina Porte Aperte website and choose the ?art route?, currently available from Monday 25 until Wednesday 27 May.
Before traveling to Rome, the exhibition was shown at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, to coincide with the 28th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Over the coming months, it will be shown in Milan, New York, Washington and The Hague, and will return to Rome for an exclusive viewing in November.
 
For more information, please read this article in Italy’s Corriere della Sera,?visit theIDLO mini-site and watch video interviews?with the photographers.

Chasing Windmills

AZIZUR RAHIM PEU, born 10th June 1964, died 14 October 2014

Azizur Rahim Peu
Azizur Rahim Peu

?If you let me go, I?ll kill myself.? I?d never given a job to anyone before. So this response to my suggestion that there was a better future for him elsewhere, was something I wasn?t prepared for. I had returned to Bangladesh after having been away for twelve years. Not having the capital myself, I had set up a photographic studio in partnership with a businessman cum photographer Khan Mohammad Ameer and his businessmen brothers. The studio ?Fotoworld? was posh, and we photographed the glitterati. We also took pictures of factories, the odd milk powder tin, food, cigarette cartons and pretty much anything people would pay us (and sometimes not pay us) to shoot. Azizur Rahim Peu was my first recruit. I?d come to know him through the Bangladesh Photographic Society, where I was the general secretary and had taken an immediate liking to the young man. Continue reading “Chasing Windmills”

Pathshala student again wins Ian Parry Award

Pathshala student Farzana Hossen declared winner of the prestigious Ian Parry Scholarship at the?Visa Pour L?Image, Perpignan, France

2013 Winner / Farzana Hossen / Pathshala / Bangladesh


FarzanaHossen
Farzana Hossen 2013 Winner
?Without a doubt, this is the strongest set of images and written text that we have seen today. I get a clear sense that Farzana has an invested interest in conveying the horror of these attacks. Congratulations to all those who entered on undeniably strong work? Don McCullin,?Patron.
?I am delighted that the judges have chosen another strong winning entry this year, both in terms of the importance of the subject and Farzana?s remarkable personal story that brought
her to approach it.? Aidan Sullivan Founder, IPS.
Magda_Rakita
Magda Rakita 2013 Highly Commended
Kazi_Riasat
Kazi Riasat Alve 2013 Commended<
MehranHamrahi
Mehran Hamrahi 2013 Commended
?One of the most rewarding experiences of judging this year?s award was seeing the explosion of work being submitted from foreign photographers, particularly Asia. I was impressed with
the standard and professionalism on display and how these photographers approached important social issues in their locality? Simon Roberts, Judge and former winner.
The judges felt that Farzana?s winning portfolio ?Lingering Scars? communicated an intensely personal story with brave and intelligent visual story telling of great strength and depth of composition. In Bangladesh, reports of violence against women are on the rise. Oftentimes, it takes the form of acid attacks, which are estimated to occur every two days, the majority of sufferers being female.
We received an unprecedented level of entries again this year, the standard was higher and applicants younger than ever before. Our judging is done as a process of elimination, so portfolios are removed from each round depending on their strength as a potential winner. The final round of portfolios from institutions like Pathshala, Danish School of Journalism, LCC UK, Westminster UK, Ohio USA, Falmouth UK, Newport and Azad University of Ahvaz, showed such flair and extraordinary vision that the judges found it difficult to select just four finalists.
Ian Parry was a photojournalist who died while on assignment for The Sunday Times during the Romanian revolution in 1989. That was 20 years ago, he was just 24 years of age. Aidan Sullivan, then picture editor at the Sunday Times, created the Ian Parry Scholarship with Ian?s friends and family in order to build something positive from such a tragic death.
This is the second time in three years that a Pathshala student has won this prestigious award. The 2011 award was won by Rasel Chowdhury with his work “Desperate Urbanisation“.
Farzana is a contributing photographer to the Majority World Agency. Her work was recently shown at the Guardian Gallery in London.

Establishment Earthquaker

?By Manik Katyal Emaho Magazine

Emaho got into a free-wheeling t?te-?-t?te with the legendary award-winning Bangladeshi photographer, Shahidul Alam to pry beyond his politics

Manik: In all your past interviews, you have mentioned how photography happened to you, so I will not ask that question, but what is photography for you? And your relationship with politics?
Shahidul: I am a very political animal and the reason I took up photography was because of my political position. Being concerned about the social situation in my country and globally, I happened to stumble into photography and discovered what a powerful tool it was; which happens to be the only reason why I practice it. I am fond of photography, I enjoyed images but at the end of the day that for me is not the point of the exercise. I continued to use photography in whatever way I can. Largely because, I see the strength of the medium and I recognise the potential. Having said that I think ? I have said this before ? that if tomorrow it ceases to effective, I?ll have no qualms about giving it up and taking something new.

My early experiments in figurative photography, the only available male nude, was me. Kingsbury. London. 1980. ? Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World
While my male friends were perfectly happy to photograph women in the nude, when I asked if I could photograph them, they became very coy. So it had to be self portraits! Kingsbury. London. 1980. ? Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Continue reading “Establishment Earthquaker”

Wresting the Narrative From the West

By?JAMES ESTRIN?New York Times
As far as Shahidul Alam is concerned, he does not live in the third world or the developing world. While the photographer?s home is in Bangladesh, a decidedly poor country, he thinks of himself as residing in ?the majority world.?
Boy playing with home made ball, in shelter built for earthquake victims in Pakistan. ? Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World
Boy playing with home made ball, in shelter built for earthquake victims in Pakistan. ? Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Most people today do not live in Europe or North America, or have white skin. Yet the world?s economy and media are dominated by a handful of Western countries, and the reporting on developing nations is not always done by people who know their subjects well. Continue reading “Wresting the Narrative From the West”

New Images from Majority World

MWC023632 2

You can now purchase the latest FairMail cards taken by underprivileged Indian and Peruvian teenagers at Majority World. FairMail offers them photography training, part-time work, medical insurance and guidance in making their future plans.? Continue reading “New Images from Majority World”

Positive Light book preview

Want to take a sneak preview of the contents of Positive Light? This preview shows the introduction plus the first five spreads of each section of the book. The original contest was broken down into Culture, History, Place and People.
DO NOT BUY THE BLURB COPY from the link above! We are only using Blurb for preview purposes.
Pledge to buy a copy (or copies!) of Positive Light

Don’t forget, up until 31 March 2013 you can pledge to purchase Positive Light at our pre-sales crowdfunding campaign at this link. Every little bit helps — and more importantly this campaign will help Drik continue its work in social justice in Bangladesh.

Positive Light

Foreword to Positive Light by Shahidul Alam

Photography is many things. It?s a tool of fine art, an expression of scientific innovation and a vehicle of creativity. But ultimately, it is storytelling where photography harnesses its full potential. Because it is so powerful, it has also been used to stereotype people and meet certain agendas.
In our work at Drik, we are extremely sensitive to the way photography of Bangladesh has been used to propagate a western imperialist and colonial view of the world and more recently the developmental paradigm. But such perceptions actually represent a very narrow view of Bangladesh. The fact that it is a country rich in culture, art and heritage is something rarely heard of in the outside world. At Drik, we believe this perception stems from the monopoly on storytelling of the South that the West has had for so long. And it is local photographers who will challenge that most effectively. Continue reading “Positive Light”

Majority World on Corriere Immigrazione (Italian)

Majority world


Perch? ? importante che a raccontare i ?paesi impoveriti? siano i loro stessi figli.?Le foto (link)
Until the lions have their own storytellers, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter, si legge in epigrafe a?My Journey as a Witness, il libro fotografico che raccoglie la storia artistica e fotogiornalistica di Shaihidul Alam. Fino a quando i leoni non avranno i loro cantastorie, i racconti di caccia celebreranno sempre il cacciatore. Shahidul Alam ? un artista eclettico del Bangladesh: ha sempre spaziato tra musica, scrittura e immagine tenendo l?impegno sociale come filo conduttore di tutto il suo lavoro. Ed ? stato lui, all?inizio degli anni ?90, a cominciare a usare l?espressione?Majority World?(la parte maggiore del mondo) in sostituzione alle ambigue e inaccurate?devoloping countries(paesi in via di sviluppo) o?third world?(terzo mondo).?Majority World?? anche il nome (link) di un?agenzia di fotogiornalismo (Alam ? tra i fondatori) che ha la sua sede centrale nel Regno Unito e che raccoglie i lavori di fotografi della maggior parte del mondo impegnati a raccontare i loro Paesi fuori dai clich? e dagli stereotipi troppo spesso presenti nella visione occidentale. Lo scorso luglio alla Guardian Gallery di Kings Place, a Londra, ? stata organizzata un?esposizione di alcuni tra gli scatti pi? belli di questi professionisti. Colin Hastings, cofondatore con Alam di?Majority World, sarebbe felice di fare viaggiare questa mostra per il mondo e di raccogliere le immagini in un catalogo. Riuscirci, come sempre, ? una questione di fondi e di sponsor. In attesa che qualcosa si muova, sperando in fondo di contribuire a questo movimento, abbiamo il privilegio e il piacere di proporvi alcune di queste immagini.
Stefania Ragusa