Not Alone
  I took this photo on World Women's Day, 8 March 2004. It shows survivors
of acid attacks. Such attacks are still made against women who are
accused of violating social codes. Here they are staging an 'awareness
drama'. Amra aar eka noi ('We Are Not Alone') was written and performed
by survivors. Their dreams have been shattered, their faces and bodies
charred by a liquid fire - acid. But their indomitable courage and
will-power to rebuild their lives and move forward is strengthened by
everyone telling them they are not alone. All the performers use masks,
but at the end of the drama they take the masks from their faces and
introduce themselves to the audience. They are so emotional. I took the
photo to show this emotion, which I think is very difficult to describe
unless you have felt it yourself.
Abir Abdullah

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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