A meal without rice

Fredskorpset. Bringing people together.

The phone call was unexpected, and the caller was unsure. Way back in 1999, I had no previous contact with Norway. More importantly, the person calling had already had a hiccup. His research had led him to someone who didn?t speak English, hadn?t travelled much, and wasn?t familiar with any of the issues that he was meant to have authored. It was a case of mistaken identity, but Per Kristian Lunden wanted to be sure it was the REAL Shahidul Alam this time round. We photojournalists share a common language, and soon, the doubt disappeared. While we were strangers, there was enough common ground to know we walked similar paths and in this case, had a common goal. We were going to build on a database for media practitioners of the south, that I had started.
More phone calls followed and eventually I found myself opposite a tall Norwegian (all Norwegians are tall by Bangladeshi standards) at Kristiansand, and Per Kristian Lunden and I drove off to the city of Ris?r. The idea of a city with 3000 people was novel to me. But it was summer and they had a wooden boat festival. I was fascinated by the long nights. Continue reading “A meal without rice”

Children's Eyes on Earth

2012 photography contest

Thousands of young photographers worldwide submitted their images to the?youth photography contest, which aims to raise awareness of environmental issues. Children aged 17 and under were encouraged to illustrate the themes of ‘I love nature’ and ‘I hate pollution’. Here are the winning shots, along with a selection from those shortlisted

Reza Deghati, the organiser of the contest, was the first tutor at Pathshala way back in 1998 who then went on to form the media organisation Aina in Afghanistan. Drik and Aina were partners in the Fredskorpset exchange. Reza was the guest of honour at Drik’s 23rd anniversary.

SOS by Anastasya Vorobko, 8, Russia, first prize winner

Grain by Sazzid Ahmed, 17, Bangladesh, shortlisted

Continue reading “Children's Eyes on Earth”

Playing with light in the darkness

Subscribe to ShahidulNews


By Ananya Dutta
The Hindu
Kolkata, November 15, 2011

No kidding: A visitor admires photographs taken by two amateur photographers from under-privileged backgrounds in Kolkata on Monday. - Photo: Sushanta Patronobish

Twenty-one-year-old Shankar Sarkar is both perturbed and fascinated by the surroundings he grew up in ? a red light area in the city. Shankar’s discomfort resulted in him dropping out of school but his enchantment led him to click a series of photographs of his mother, eventually enabling him to find a niche for himself in professional photography.
On the occasion of Children’s Day, a three-day exhibition of photographs taken by two children from the margins was inaugurated here on Monday.
?From the first time that I held a camera in my hand (a compact Yashica film camera that had to be shared by six boys from the slum), I have been taking pictures of my mother ? scenes from her daily life,? says Shankar, adding that in this manner he has been ?documenting? her life over the last ten years.
He says he would love to take pictures of others in the neighbourhood ? he has known them for years. But when he steps out with his camera, ?it invariably leads to a fight?. Sometimes he visits other red light areas in the city, for instance Sonagachi.
Continue reading “Playing with light in the darkness”