As Drik As Possible

Climate_MigrantsThe 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. 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 magazine, joined as our librarian. We offered and she happily accepted a local salary. In god we trust
My partner Rahnuma Ahmed often got roped in when we were short-staffed, which was often. That was 25 years ago. Little experience and zero cash rarely got in the way: we started publishing from day one. Postcards, bookmarks (often using offcuts from the press) and even a company calendar were produced by friendly printers who printed on credit. Residents of Bangladesh?s capital, Dhaka, used to seeing flowers, pretty women, mosques and waterfalls, suddenly woke up to social messages in black and white on their wall calendars. It worked, and we were able to sell them door-to-door and pay back the printers ? until there was a flood and half our stock got inundated.
My Garden in the WildsTired of being pitied for our poverty, and do-gooder attempts to ?save? us, we had decided to become our own storytellers. And did we have stories to tell! Our agency Drik, grew, and we picked up many loyal friends and several powerful enemies along the way. Knowing we had to compete with better-resourced entities in the West, we set up the nation?s first email network using Fidonet. Banglarights, our human rights portal, annoyed the government; our telephone lines were switched off for 30 months. Mainstream galleries turned down exhibitions which were shamelessly political and often critical of the establishment, so we built our own. The government sent riot police to close down our shows on several occasions. Being stabbed in the street, arrested, and generally persecuted became some of the more troubling after-effects of our activism, but a nationwide campaign to reopen our gallery, and a court ruling in our favour, convinced us that the person on the street was on our side. That was all the ammunition we needed. Ballakot Rubble 8246
Along the way, we had set up a photo school, Pathshala, now recognized as being among the finest in the world. We also set up a photo festival, Chobi Mela. Again, a highlight of the Asian cultural calendar. Geed up by what we?d achieved in Bangladesh, we set our sights on challenging the global world order. Majority World was born, a platform for local photographers from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East with their own stories to tell.
Rescue OperationActivism didn?t pay the bills though and competing in the market place, often with professionals we ourselves had trained, required us to remain cutting edge. Clients cared less for ?good intentions? than they did for good delivery and value for money. It was comforting therefore when a prestigious international client, mentioned in the ?special instruction? section that she wanted the work to be ?As Drik as possible.? Call me Heena
As the organisation grew, we needed better management, stricter controls, increased efficiency and lower costs. This led to a culture shift which didn?t come easily to a group that had grown up like a family and had gotten used to working in a particular way. Our new CEO reminded us, that producing the perfect product was gratifying, but getting it to market on time and within budget, was just as important.
Meeting man's greedDrik today is a role model for the majority world, but a world that is changing. Twenty five years ago, it made sense to start from the ground up. Today we tap into fine professionals we ourselves have groomed, and take them to the international arena. Long term strategy, succession plans and a more global vision are the concerns of the day. It?s a lean, agile and creative organisation run by a younger team, ready for tomorrow. Rejoicing at Ershad's fall
Drik?s ultimate strength however, has been the people who have rallied around us. This includes the people who work here, but goes way beyond it. People, all across the globe, across all conventional barriers, who have believed in us, and stood by us, in the many difficult moments we?ve shared, through many dark nights and days. We owe our very survival to them. Some we have lost forever. Others have stayed away from the limelight, happy to bask in our success from afar. While they have never wanted or expected anything in return, we shall remain indebted to them. This publication is a tribute to them all.
Those we have loved and lost
See as slideshare
All credits and supplementary text available in Flickr page

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”

DrikNews RVJN wins World Summit Award

The Rural Visual Journalism Network (RVJN) is an innovative initiative where trained district correspondents use Apple i-Pod Touch technology to produce multimedia stories from rural Bangladesh. The correspondents? multimedia stories focus on addressing specific issues faced by media and by rural citizens of Bangladesh. Continue reading “DrikNews RVJN wins World Summit Award”

Prothom Alo journalist attacked

by Firoz Gazi, DrikNEWS Correspondent, Jessore, April 2013

Journalist Masud Alam was attacked after he reported a corruption story.??He is the Abhaynagar Correspondent for Daily Prothom Alo. On 28 March, his assailants attacked him at Ulobottola, situated in Dhopali Village, Shundori Union, Abhaynagar Upazilla, Jessore.?His left hand was broken from the attack and his muscles flattened from the beating. The Police have arrested six men who were involved in this attack.??Masud Alam is now receiving treatment at Jessore Medical College Hospital. Continue reading “Prothom Alo journalist attacked”

Rural Visual Journalism in Bangladesh

???-?? ????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? (????????)

Rural multimedia journalist of DrikNews reporting from the field

:??????????? ???????????? ??????? ????? ?????? ??? ?????? ???? ?? ???? ???? ????? ????? ???? ?? ????? ?????? ????????, ????, ????, ????? ?????? ???? ?????? ???? ????? ?????? ????? ???? ????? ??? ?? ????? ???? ???????? ?? ?????????? ???? ??? ??? ??? ???? ?? ???? ??? ?? ???-???? ???? ???????? ?????? ?? ?????????? ??????? ????? ????? ?????? ??????? ????? ??????? ???? ?? ???? ???? ???-?????? ??????? ?????? ??????? ???????? ????? ????? ???? ?????? ???????? ???? ????? ?????? ???? ??????
????????? ????? ???-? ????????? ????? ?????? ?.? ???????? ????????? ??? ?????? ??? ????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? (????????) ????????? ?????? ?????????? ??????? ?????? ??????? ????? ??? ?????? ???? ??? ????? ?????? ????? ???? ?????? ???? ???? ???? ??????? ???????? ??????????? ??????? ????? ????????????? ??????? ? ???? ??? ???? ????? ???? ??? ????? ????????? ??? ??????????? ??????? ???????? ??????? ????? ???? ????????????? ??????????? ?????? ???? ???? ?????? ???? ??? ??????? ??????? ????, ????????, ??????, ????, ??-????, ????? ?????-??????? ??? ???????? ??????? ???? ????? ???? ???? ??????????? ????? ????????????? ??????????? ???????? ??????????? ??????? ???? ????? ????? ??????? ?????? ??????? ?? ???? ???????? ???????? ????????? ???? ????????????? ????????? ?? ????????? ??????? ?????????? ??????? ??? ????? ??????? ?????-?????? ??? ?????? ???????? ????? ????????? ???? ??? ?????? ??????
???????? ???????? ???? ???????? ??????????? ?????????? ?????? ???? ??? ???????? ??????? ??? ??? ??????? ??? ?????? ????? ? ???? ????, ???????? ??? ????????????? ????????? ???????? ??? ???? ?? ?????????? ????? ???? ??? ????? ?????????? ??? ?????????-?? ??????? ???????? ???????? ????????? ????? ?????? ??? ????
???? ?????????? ???????? ??????, ????????, ???????, ?????????? ? ??????? ????, ?????? ??? ?????????? ?????? ???????? ??????????? ??????? ???? ?????? ???? ????? ???? ???? ???? ?????? ?????, ???? ?????????? ???? ????????? ?????? ??? ?????? ???? ?????????? ????? ?????, ????? ?????????? ??????-, ????-???? ??????, ?????? ???????? ???? ????? ??? ????????????? ??????????? ????????
???????? ??, ????? ? ????? ????? ?? ????????? ??????? ??????????, ????? ????? ??? ??????? ?????????????? ????????????? ????????? ????? ???? ????????? ?????? ??? ??? ??? ????? ???? ???? ???? ????????? ???????? ?????? ?? ????????????? ????????????? www.driknews.com ??????????? ??????? ???????? ????
?????? ?????????? ?????????? ??????????? ????????? ???? ???-?? ???? ???????????-???? ?????
?????? ???? ??????? ??????????? ???????? ?? ? ???????? ???? ?? ????????? ?????? ?????? ?????????? ?????????? ??????????? (????????) ????????? ???? ??-???? ??????? ???????? ???????? ???? ???????????-???? ?????? ??? ??????? ???? ???? ???????? ?????? ?????? ??? ?????? ????????? ???????? ????? ????????? ????????? ??????? ??????? ????????? ???????????? ???? ?? ???? ??????????? ?????? ??? ????
???????? ????????? ??????? ????????????? ?????? ????:www.driknews.com
See also: http://www.worldpressphoto.org/news/rural-visual-journalism-network-launched-bangladesh
???????? ???????: ??. ????? ?????, ?????????? ??-?????????; Email: kamal@drik.net; Tel: +880 1712 095 729
The book on the Manthan Award won by DrikNews is now available online.

Manthan Award Book 2012

Digital Dividends of Asia – (size:96.8MB, 300DPI)
Digital Dividends of Asia – (size:13.8MB, 150DPI)
Digital Dividends of Asia – (size:2.72MB, 72DPI)

Please Retweet #RVJN #DrikNews #Multimedia #Bangladesh

DrikNews wins Manthan Awards

Winners of Manthan Awards 2012

Muhammad Aminuzzaman of DrikNews receiving the runner up Manthan Award in the category E-NEWS and MEDIA. 2nd December 2012.?Delhi. India.

Manthan Award is an initiative in India to recognize the best practices in e-Content and Creativity. It was launched on 10th October ?2004, by?Digital Empowerment Foundation. The core objective of the Manthan Award process is to make visible the contents that already exist.

Winners from Manthan Awards 2012:
E-NEWS and MEDIA
Chai With Lakshmi, Red Bangle
Rural Visual Journalism Network, DRIK
Related links
Newstoday
Banglanews24
The Independent?
Daily Janakantha
Dainik Destiny
The New Nation
News Today?
(Special Mention: Barta Vubon, OneIndia.in)
Please Retweet #RVJN #Driknews #drik

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People's News

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Drik calendar 2012 now available:

Farmers harvest a bumper crop of Jute in Bogra district due to favourable weather and timely rain. The District Agricultural Department is expecting 240,000 bales of jute to be produced in Bogra region this year and the farmers are optimistic about getting good prices. Bogra, Bangladesh. July 20, 2010. ? Shafiq Islam/DrikNEWS

A moment of crisis, a celebration, the unexpected, a dream realized, hidden truths, a reaffirmation of what we knew. Through TV screens, newspaper pages, giant electronic screens and tiny handsets, we gather, sift, scroll and parse news unfolding. Through twitter feeds, facebook and blogs, we circulate the news that we are fed, to inform, alert and mobilise those around us. Occasionally we question. The news photograph brings down powerful autocrats, highlights the plight of a single child, shines a spotlight on communities in strife, ignites the passion of victory, shares the tragedy of loss.
Villagers of Choto Gunorgati live in fear of river erosion and have shifted house three or four times to makeshift housing in crowded and unsanitary conditions. It is estimated that 100,000 families have become homeless in northern district of Bangladesh. This village located about 160 km from the capital city of Dhaka, beside the Jamuna river is well known as a weaving village. It has lost 7 kilometres to erosion in the last 6 years. Sirajgonj, Bangladesh. June 3, 2007. ? Tanvir Ahmed/DrikNEWS

But the manufacture of consent has rarely been more engineered. With everything from wars to presidential campaigns being stage-managed and with mainstream news increasingly fed by official sources, reliance on usual sources of news images has become increasingly dangerous. Continue reading “People's News”

Bangladesh, standing on the edge

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Preface?by Christian Caujolle

Expressions, hands, faces, presence and pain, tenderness and anxiety, light and encounters, questions and determination as well as a thousand other things run through Munem Wasif‘s photographs.

The way Wasif takes his photographs can be summed up into two ways: people and the frame. He definitely belongs to a humanist tradition, contemporary in content for the attention he gives to people and to the way they live, what they have to endure and all they bear in today’s pitiless world, disrupted, torn by drastic climatic changes and economic speculation. A world where speed is queen and profit king inconsiderately leaving on the wayside the rejected that it spawns. It is salutary that an eye such as Wasif’s reminds us that these things exist, that there are men, women, children, “little people” like us who have to withstand much more than we do.






In photography, the approach and the representation of suffering and exclusion are often entangled in a jumble of good intentions, generous in intention, they call for tearful compassion, with clich?d images that end up making us weary, forever repeating themselves, they end up by?anaesthetising?our capacity to react. Wasif produces the opposite effect. He makes us question and makes us concerned.

This is done with so little and at the same time goes to the essential. We can not doubt his commitment to those he photographs, the excluded, the victims, panic-stricken by a world ruled by the race for profit and blinded by immediate return based on solely commercial value. He puts this world into form, radical in its description, he imposes it and gives it to us to see clearly.

This is where the frame comes in. A way of focusing in on the world, to sum it up in a series of specific points of view, classic in their composition, forcing us to see and to perceive their intention.
Munem Wasif‘s frames are clean-cut, precise, almost cold. Without flourish. He asks us to look, to perceive, to take a stand. Therefore to act.
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Wasif’s work will be shown at Visa Pour la Image at Perpignan. He won the?City of Perpignan Young Reporter?s Award for 2008. He graduated from Pathshala, The South Asian Institute of Photography, and works at DrikNews. His work is represented by Agence VU and Majority World.