We spot a lens peering at us from the corner of our eye. Immediately we straighten up, fix our hair, smooth the rough in our clothes, consciously make – or avoid – eye contact. Only the well trained is able to visibly avoid responding to the camera?s presence. The professional photographer prides in her ability to take ?natural? photographs, where her intervention is invisible. Yet, peering through family albums, wedding folders or a Facebook status we find ourselves actively inviting the portrayal of how we want to be seen. Whether we consider a photograph of ourselves to be ?good? largely depends on how well the photographer has represented us, as we would want it. As such the photographer?s success depends not so much on her aesthetic sense or insight, but on her ability to please the sitter. While this applies to the casual portraitist, it is much more true of the professional photographer. Her bread and butter depend on a satisfied client and as such, are driven by an external agenda. Whether it be a corporation, or an NGO or a newly wed couple, a good photographer is one who delivers what is required. Continue reading “Embracing the Amateur”
Preface by Christian Caujolle
It only takes a single glance to recognize a classic. The confirmation can be seen here, in this direct, forthright photography ? the same quality that came through in the series devoted to ?Salty Tears?, in which Munem Wasif examined, documented and questioned the situation regarding water in his country, Bangladesh. Classic by choice, starting with the choice of black and white, whose relative distancing from reality demands exacting precision in the composition. Arising, as always in photography, from a succession of rejections, eliminations and decisions, this choice precludes the picturesque quality that too often prevails when lands and peoples are viewed through the prism of exoticism. But black and white, while it places the photographer within a documentary tradition long associated with journalism, obliges him to go beyond merely transposing a visual record of the world. He must take a position, and he does, deliberately and consistently.
Continue reading “Old Dhaka by Munem Wasif”
Book Launch: Shifting Gravity A Discourse on Biennials
May 30, 2013, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal,
Crozzola Hall, Venice, Italy
The Gwangju Biennale Foundation is pleased to invite you to the launch of the book?Shifting Gravity on the 30th of May at Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. This?book, published by the Gwangju Biennale Foundation and Hatje Cantz, presents the issues,?discourses, and practices that have been evolving over the past 20 years with the?development of biennials around the globe.
The catalyst for this publication was the World Biennial Forum No.1, an international forum?held in Gwangju, South Korea in October 2012. The forum and publication were organized?through the collaboration of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation, the Biennial Foundation,?and the ifa (Institut f?r Auslandsbeziehungen). During the five-day forum, directors and?representatives of biennials and a number of professionals discussed a wide range of?issues regarding biennials and their meaning as a global cultural phenomenon.
Shifting Gravity is composed of three main essays on the theme of biennials and thirty-nine?essays on different biennials held around the globe. Ute Meta Bauer and Hou Hanru, the?directors of the forum, took on the role of editors for the publication of the book.
Chobi Mela is one of the biennales featured.
For RSVP please contact:?Serene Pac
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.
We are immensely pleased to announce that proceeds from Positive Light will also support WildTeam’s efforts to protect nature, particularly the Royal Bengal Tiger. Bangladesh has one of the last remaining strongholds of tiger populations. Tigers are an endangered species, which has lost 97 percent of its population over the last century. There are 3,200 magnificent tigers left in the world and these face huge poaching pressure as the demand for tiger parts continues to rise with rising incomes across Asia.
The Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest on earth, can hold approximately 400 tigers. This remote corner of India and Bangladesh is a unique stronghold for tigers. Here, WildTeam is working alongside the local people to overcome tiger threats and build a future for tigers in Bangladesh.
The founders of Crowdsourced Travel cannot imagine a world without tigers. And that?s why we?ve committed a part of the proceeds of Positive Light project to raising funds and awareness for Bangladesh? premiere tiger conservation organization WildTeam.
By purchasing Positive Light you are also supporting the efforts of WildTeam in Bangladesh. Thank you. Ten percent of Positive Light’s profits are going to WildTeam’s work in preserving tigers.
Visit our crowdfunding site — your support will help this fledgling project get off the ground.
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: Bangladesh by Bangladeshis”
Join us in this exciting venture. We need your support. Go here. Act now. Bring all your friends.
Drik has announced a new partnership with Crowdsourced Travel, the creation of Mikey Leung, who is the author of Bangladesh: The Bradt Travel Guide.
Drik is supporting the publication of Positive Light, a new coffee table photography book sharing the beauty of Bangladesh with the rest of the world.
Printing Positive Light is a big project for Drik, and due to a sponsor pulling out of the project, we have needed to take a loan in order to support its publication. That’s why we need you to join us in shining a positive light on Bangladesh, by pledging to purchase a copy of this wonderful product.
Visit our crowdfunding site?– your support will help this fledgling project get off the ground.
About Positive Light:?Mikey Leung’s TEDxDhaka talk
Though with youtube still blocked in Bangladesh you might have problems viewing it.
Support Bangladeshi photographers who work for social justice by purchasing Positive Light
Rupert Grey, media and copyright lawyer, journalist, photographer and teacher, based in Covent Garden London.
Dr Alam?s aspiration is to teach the pixels to dance. It is a characteristically elegant and evocative phrase in comparison with the generally arid language of the digital lexicon, and it conveys the ambit of his vision and the scope of his knowledge. His Journey is a considerable one. It takes the author from a PhD in chemistry in London to photographer, political activist and educationalist in Bangladesh; it spans the 40 years since the birth of his native country, when he was 16, to its coming of age as an economic and political power amongst Asian nations. Alam has played his part in that growing up. He has challenged oppression and fought for justice and freedom of speech, not infrequently at considerable risk to himself and his partner Rahnuma Ahmed,[i] and he has forged an international reputation.[ii] My Journey as a Witness, published by Skira, Milan, 2011 is a self portrait of an activist who has used photography to chronicle his nation?s anguish.[iii] Continue reading “Shahidul Alam?s My Journey as a Witness”
The Making of PAPA
By Lino Hellings
Editors: Hans Aarsman, Nienke Terpsma, Lino Hellings.
Book design: Nienke Terpsma
Text editing (Dutch): Rob van Maanen
Translation: Gerard Forde
Lithography: Sebastiaan Hanekroot for Colour & Books
ISBN 978 94 6083 066 2
Post editions Rotterdam/the Netherlands
Price ? 30.00 (at the launch ? 25.00)
Continue reading “PAPA in Volkskrant”