Pathshala South Asian Media Academy is an internationally reputed institute. The Broadcast and Multimedia Department of Pathshala provides short courses to those who are looking for a job in the electronic media or have just started their career in the broadcast industry. At the moment Pathshala is working on a MA programme in Broadcast Journalism that will be offered from September 2012.
For the Broadcast and Multimedia Department, Pathshala is looking for a ?Faculty Moderator/Tutor?
Operate as full time tutor
Coordinate the work of other tutors
Coach students and trainees
Ensure the continuity and quality of classes
MA (preferably in journalism) with at least 5 years experience in Broadcast Journalism
Affinity with teaching and with Pathshala
Send your CV to:
Shah Sazzad Hossain
Manager (Admin & Finance)
Pathshala – South Asian Media Academy was established in Dhaka in 1998 to fulfill the long felt need for providing institutional education in photography in Bangladesh. Today Pathshala is one of the premier institutes of photography in Asia. With a visiting faculty consisting of the finest professionals in the world, the school boasts a teaching programme that is second to none. Students have won major international awards (World Press Photo, Asahi Shimbun, National Geographic All Roads Contest etc.) and take on assignments for the most prestigious international publications (Time Magazine, Newsweek). Within a short period, Pathshala has established itself as a regional centre for excellence in photography, attracting students from India, Nepal, Norway, Denmark, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, the UK and Zimbabwe. Pathshala is affiliated to Bolton University (UK), the Danish School of Journalism and Sunderland University (UK).
Pathshala invites application and portfolio from interested students for enrollment in the
Three years professional course on photography.
Eligibility/ Admission Requirement:
– HSC / A level (Minimum Second class / GPA 2.5)
– Fluent in spoken and written English
– Completion of basic or foundation course in photography
– Portfolio with ten photographs (Size: 8″x10″)
– Curriculum vita with two referees
– Two passport and two stamp size photographs
– Brief written explanation justifying interest in the programme
Portfolio Submission deadline: 25th September, 2011
Interview: 27th September 2011
Interview Result: 27th September 2011
Admission deadline: 29th September 2011
Class starts: 9th October 2011
For more information please see, www.pathshala.net.
Pathshala South Asian Media Academy
Archeology & Art
Vrije University Brussels
Subscribe to ShahidulNews
A photographer is rarely a good editor of one?s own photographs. It?s not as illogical as it sounds. The visual content within the four corners of a frame create the stimulus that inform us of what was seen, and in well crafted images, conjure up the sense of the moment. For the photographer, it is a small part of the process. The pain, the pleasure, the frustrations, the high, of arriving at the photograph, is an inseparable part of the image. The editorial choice therefore, cannot be made on the image alone. The emotional weight impinges upon one?s judgment. It is a valid choice, but one that the viewer unencumbered by that weight, is incapable of sharing, and hence a choice, less relevant to the viewer.
A teacher in selecting work by students goes through a similar process. The path is neither smooth nor predictable. Students with different ability, drive, tenacity and energy occupy a classroom. Work produced by a student one has nurtured over years is difficult to reduce to a set of visual frames. The coaxing, cajoling, willing and hand holding that has gone into each student. The stance one has taken, stern but generous, appreciative but demanding, kind but rigorous, finds its way into each image. Each portfolio has a stamp, invisible to others but clearly present to the teacher. How then does one take a dispassionate view, while selecting work for a collective publication?
Of course there is the chronology that maps out the growth of the organisation. The transitions that have taken place, contoured by collective experiences. The visiting faculties who have left lingering traces upon individual styles. Influences that have sometimes dramatically altered the visual practice. Return to familiar paths. Explorations into the unknown. Blatant copies arising out of adulation. Rejection, rethinking, a process of morphing where the old and the new have combined to produce a new genre altogether, are easy to observe. The branches can be traced to the roots with every knurled knot, every fork, every green shoot a sign of a new beginning.
Then comes the difficult part. When bright sparks of brilliance shine through in defiance. When a body of work refuses to be categorised. When another, just as strong, pulls in a different direction. How does one choose between favourites? How does one forget the angst that led to a new vision? When a student returns from being almost lost, and basks in new-found confidence, can work be excluded, merely because it doesn?t fit? Can brilliance be ignored merely because there are other stories to tell, and there just isn?t enough room?
Other dynamics also enter the equation. Talent and success don?t always go hand in hand. Having taught one?s students survival skills, one must appreciate their ability to get ahead, make the right impressions, learn to play the ?game?. In that game of life, there are those one admires more, for their integrity and honesty. For staying true to their beliefs. For not selling out. That the less scrupulous are sometimes the ones who shine is a reality one needs to accept. Having handed over the tools, one cannot hold back. It is arrogant to assume one?s value systems will be valued by all. In the rough and tumble of survival, many will choose options one might not fully subscribe to. Many will walk paths, one would hope they would avoid. Some will deceive, some will massage the truth. Some will benefit as a result. That too is reality.
When a reject pile is so rich with nuggets how does one lament? What message does it carry when rejection is so value loaded? When rejected work is seen as inferior. When the editors sword can affect careers, change lives. In the binary of inclusion, there is no middle path. No also-rans. Work is in, or out. The pain of losing out is not easily shared.
Hopefully, the book will speak for itself. While regretting what has been lost, one must not fail to rejoice in what is present. Inevitably there are internal references. New work that is informed by former attempts. While other bodies of work have marked the path for future students to follow. Global influences have also pitched in, but generally, it is the peers who have paved the way for future students.
The early work of Abir Abdullah, produced at a time when the genre of photo essays was largely unexplored in Bangladesh, was emulated by others in his own batch like GMB Akash. Akash himself became a trendsetter for future students. The gritty colours of Andrew Biraj and the ethereal black and whites of Munem Wasif took divergent exploratory routes while their classmate Nazrul Islam, found inroads into contemporary life in Kabul. The exquisite image construction of Saiful Huq Omi was perhaps the precursor of the equally accomplished sculptural images of Khaled Hasan. Din Mohaammad Shibly?s exploration of family life might well owe to the tender insight by Munira Morshed Munni into the intimacies of her own home. The stark rendering of the invisible gay community by Gazi Nafiz Ahmed, might have evolved from the very different approach that Akash had taken many years earlier, while Masud Alam Liton stayed closer to the early documentary style. Noor Alam?s insightful look at children with thalassaemia surely gained from the work on children with cancer by Nayemuzzaman Prince.
Choosing from the 8th batch was particularly challenging. While the individual styles of Debashish Shom, Shehab Uddin and Shumon Ahmed have all made it to the book, the ones left out include important work by Chandan Robert Rozario, the strong graphic imagery of K M Asad, the harrowing story by Saikat Majumder and the exquisite well-crafted frames of Khaled Hasan. The distinctive approaches of Tanvir-ul-Hossain and Nurun Nahar Nargish, could have represented the new contemporary movement in Bangladeshi photography. They too got bypassed because more thought provoking work was on offer.
Taslima Akhter brings us face to face with the inequalities of class that fuel our growing economy, but lost were Ashraful Awal Mishuk?s insights into the Bangladeshi underworld. Giving up Syed Asif Mahmud?s dreamy visuals was particularly heart wrenching. The well executed night scenes by Sarker Protick fought its way in, but it was the joy of seeing exciting, vibrant, exploratory work by the young photographers, Arifur Rahman, Rasel Chowdhury, Tushikur Rahman and Jannatul Mawa that got the adrenaline going. They refuse to be hemmed in by the four corners of a frame. They reject the notion of walls. This is Pathshala and Bangladeshi photography shamelessly showing off. Long may it do so.
Indian photographer Sohrab Hura is conducting a workshop ?Untitled? with the 2nd year student?s of Pathshala. The workshop theme for everyone is CARTE BLANCHE, which means everyone is free to do whatever s/he wants. It will continue till 21st January 2011.
Photographs by K M Asad
Choto Khalu (little uncle) was the likeable sort of uncle you could tease, and tease him we would. About being the fashionable one in the family. About using a knife and fork, when the rest of us would use our hands. About insisting on the interior d?cor in his house being just right. About his fancy stereo set. About being a dandy.
We were scared of Choto Khala (little aunt) when we were kids, and were surprised when we saw pictures of her, all trendy and hip, with her braided hair in front, sometimes on a bicycle. The outgoing young woman in the photographs didn?t seem as scary as we had imagined. My uncle enjoyed music, fine food, photography, reading, and their life seemed much less mundane than ours. We would giggle at how ?modern? this couple was. A word that had risqu? overtones in those days.
He was my Abba?s (dad?s) best friend. Marrying my mother?s younger sister, was perhaps a way to strengthen their friendship, but this fashion conscious young man also had an eye for good looks, and had chosen well. They were the perfect couple. They lived in Azimpur 66A, we were on the floor above, Flat 66C. Besides using their garden to raise my chicken, ducks and turtles, wandering through their flat on the way to the garden, was a treat for a young boy. Even in those low income days, Choto Khala and Khalu, found ways to make their modest home stand out from others. My special treat was to listen to ?The Laughing Policeman? on his fancy stereo set.
As one of the few Muslims who had made it to Calcutta Medical College, their friendship went back a long way. Choto Khalu had sought out my dad, known for his academic brilliance. They had crossed over in 1946 to Mymensingh, gauging the scene well to leave the day before the riots, and had taken up teaching together. Partition followed and they never went back. As young professors, my dad, the studious academic, and my uncle the debonair doctor, must have made quite a pair. Both couples went to Britain for further training. My dad stayed back to teach upon return. My uncle made a return visit to Newcastle to complete his PhD.
Choto Khalu was easily the more outgoing of the two. Abba concentrated on his research, developing Monsur?s Media (named after him), and setting up the School of Tropical Medicine. Choto Khalu meanwhile became president of the Pakistan Medical Association and the Commonwealth Medical Association. He had been awarded the Gonoshasthaya Kendra (GK) Medal for the ?Favourite Teacher? in 2007.
On hearing of this death, the founder of GK, Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury commented, ?Professor SIMG Mannan holds many laurels for teaching a most difficult subject – anatomy with great ease and humour. He is the first Asian whose name is recorded in the medical bible Grey’s Anatomy for his discovery of pascinian corpuscles. Yet he would always advise us to read Last’s Illustrated Anatomy as it would be easier for us to grasp. His refrain with us was ?serving humanity is much more important than the nitty-gritty of anatomy.?
It is ironic that the Bangladesh Medical Association in 1991 cancelled the membership of Professor Mannan, an erstwhile President of the Pakistan Medical Association and the Commonwealth Medical Association because of his participation in the formulation of the National Health Policy of 1990. His call for universal coverage of health care and the prohibition of private practice by government employed doctors to be compensated by 200% increase in salaries and extension of retirement age to 60-65 years was the cause of this wrath.
He knew all his students by name and attended to each student’s needs and difficulties. Great loss for me personally.”
My interactions with Choto Khalu involved kibitzing their bridge games, occasionally discussing poetry, and at a later stage, photography. His backlit black and whites were no accidental family snap shots. While others in the family valued fame and success, it was he, who was curious about my work and appreciated the craftsmanship. When the Royal Photographic Society made me an honorary fellow, it was Choto Khalu who reminded everyone of what an honour it was. An artist trapped in a scientist?s body, he continued to indulge in non-material pursuits that his peers found frivolous. He insisted there was more to life than mere living.
Apart from when Abba died, it was over a photograph that I saw him grieve. Taking down an old framed image from the wall, he shook as he said, ?She was alive then. But couldn?t be in the photograph. She was there, standing behind the curtain. Had I been more aware, I would have dragged her out, to be photographed with the rest of us. She had never been photographed.? His mother died when he was eight. Still never photographed.
It was the day before Eid that Rahnuma and I went to visit them. Rahnuma had carefully chosen the books for them. Choto Khalu kept talking about the books, about how much he would enjoy them. Taking us by turn, he took us to their little verandah. ?See when the late afternoon light hits the rooftops. When that slanting light hits the edges. Just before the sun sets. That?s when I stand here watching the light. The road in front with all those trees. It must be so wonderful to walk through. They are so lucky, the ones who live in the house with the slanting tiled roof. I wonder who live there. Have never seen them on that lovely roof.? Even at 93, the joy of life had never ebbed.
Ignoring Rahnuma?s pleas that I was getting too fat, he insisted on me eating the sweets that we had brought. Then he spoke about the light again and how much he?d enjoy the books.
Unusually for them, they came out to the lift, both waving as the gates began to close. Rahnuma and I looked at each other and said nothing. It was the following night, on Eid, that my sister Najma, rang to say he?d been taken to the hospital. They were already there when I arrived in the morning. It was a different Choto Khalu. One with pipes and catheters and strapped to monitors. A body stuck to machines had replaced my uncle. I would go to see him late at night. It was after visiting hours, but the hospital staff didn?t mind. I would just be with him on my own. Stroking his forehead, waiting for a sign. He was too far gone to respond, but I felt he knew. The doctor on duty asked who the decision maker was. I knew what that meant. I spoke to my sister, and we agreed to have a ?meeting? in the morning. She later rang back to say, perhaps we wouldn?t need to. In the morning she rang to confirm that we didn?t.
It was still morning, but many people had already dropped in as he lay in the coffin in their flat in Banani. Old doctor friends, students, family. I remembered feeling proud when people like the former Bangladeshi president Badruddoza Chowdhury and other prominent doctors mentioned they had been mentored by Abba and Choto Khalu. Today when the ex president came to pay his last respects, all he did was to call us together to lead us in prayer.
Tonight, as I look out of my window to see the orange moon, and call Rahnuma over to see it, I wonder if Choto Khalu is watching the moonlight dancing on the rooftops. I have a feeling he is.
There is a certain arrogance in ?teaching? anything. The assumption that you know best, and the certainty that you are in authority. The clear hierarchy. Bhaiya and Apa, against tumi or tui. When advantages of age and access are coupled with differences of class, it forms a dangerous mix. One needs to tread warily. The medium of photography, because of its power, is a dangerous tool. One hopes to share the adventure of a new way of seeing, but stay alert to the traps of privileged voyeurism. To empower and not be patronizing. To open windows of opportunity. To let in fresh ideas, but not trample on thoughts that exist.
It?s been tried before. The novelty of teaching children, the moral high ground through providing what was absent, the exoticism of entering a world through eyes that have special access are ways in which new worlds have been ?discovered?. Rarely has it raised the question of the invisibility of worlds that leads to such discovery. Empowerment can only be explored where equality has previously been denied. How then does one approach exploitation? How does one undo wrongs when one is on the ?wrong? side of the fence?
There are no easy answers. No secret ingredient, that makes one immune to the hazards of benevolent intervention. Therein lies the magic of this medium. Stripped of the need for technical prowess that makes privileged knowledge a domain of the privileged. Unburdened by the material limitations of films and their cost. Liberated from the aesthetic leanings of conventional education, some children have a freedom that their ?well brought up? counterparts have long lost.
It?s a contagious spontaneity. A boy and his shadow, hovering in suspended animation, take the ?decisive moment? to new heights. Clutching her prized possessions, a little girl walks through a rubbish tip, her hesitant smile lighting up the drabness of her surrounds. A lonesome worker, drooped in toil, rests his weary body. These are not images made because of some learned aesthetics, or some schooling of shape or form. No complex law of composition can compete with the contours shaped by a caring eye. No sermon on tempo and pace can replace the irrepressible energy of unabashed youthfulness. No theory on the use of negative space can contain the sheer audacity of an unbounded horizon. Did the ?teachers? not have a role? Of course they did. They stepped out of the way when they knew the time was right. They coaxed and cajoled when a little prod was needed. They said ?yes, yes, yes?, when they saw hesitation in expectant eyes. They waxed the wings of flight. They let imagination soar.
These gentle, harsh, chaotic and elegant images remind us, not of some untapped potential that our intervention has released, but the humanity in abundance that our unabated surge for growth, leaves behind.
Exhibition and launch
?Kamera tulen?. Elsewhere, one would think a hundred times before pointing a camera. Permission, legality, issues of representation, all came into play. In any Bangladeshi village, getting people out of your lens is the problem. A cluster of heads surround the LCD. Peals of laughter. Old toothless smiles, a little baby held up so she can see. The disappointment of being left out. There might be serious issues to be dealt with, but right now being photographed was all that mattered.
Fourteen-year-old Rabeya, a member of our adolescent group, was taking photos in this beautiful location. I want everyone to live in such a beautiful environment. Jamalpur, 2009. ? Fatema Akter Hasi; 14
With every intervention, one has concerns. Entering people?s lives, creating expectations, making friends, all have to deal with the disengagement that follows. It was people you were dealing with. How do you walk out of a life you have changed, perhaps forever? What do you leave behind, how much do you take away? These were difficult questions and we didn?t really have answers. But we?d tried it before, in cities and in villages. The remarkable transformations it had made to some children?s lives made the risk worth taking.
This is Shorifa Begum on her wedding day in Taherpur. She is a bride at eighteen years old. Shorifa did not want to get married. She stopped her education because she could not afford to continue it. Then her mother forced her to get married to a man who agreed to have a cheap wedding ceremony. Chapainawabgonj, 2009. ??Morium Khatun; 16
There were aesthetic concerns too. In talking of composition, rules of thirds, moments, balance, were we suppressing their spontaneity? Did we impinge upon their way of seeing? Were we erasing their natural ability to tell stories? We needn?t have worried. Sure, they tried things out. Pictures were created with remarkable composition. Balanced frames with well-placed elements formed stylised images that a trained photographer would have been proud of, but we had underestimated their instincts. Our fears of over intrusion were unfounded. The most striking images resulted not from our training, but because they had a voice. They could now tell their own stories and no one was going to get in their way, not even their teachers. The proud, chest-out, stiff at attention pose, that thwarted every photographer looking for something ?natural? was very much part of that expression. The loud coloured d?cor that would embarrass the urban genteel, was shown off with panache. Quirky images of everyday scenes, seen the way only children see, were the nuggets that glittered through our light box.
A group of children play in a local pond by climbing onto the tree and jumping into the water. They don’t go to school as their fathers are rickshaw pullers and do not earn enough to educate them. The parents are also not fully aware of the value of education. Barguna, 2009. ??Mohammad Jashim Uddin; 18
This is my uncle Shahidul’s goat. Every evening my uncle plays with the goat by holding up a leafy branch for him to jump up and eat. I watched this and took a photo. I also think that if the goat could become a human, then it might not need to jump like this. Chapainawabgonj, 2009. ? Md. Sala-uddin Ahmed; 16
There were quiet reflective moments too. Their realities, the every day challenges, the matter of factness with which they dealt with hurdles, had an immediacy that would humble a trained professional. Layered between romantic images in fields of Kash, looming clouds over flowing rivers, coiled branches silhouetted against stormy skies, were photographs that talked of strife. People less able who insisted on being able. Children longing to be children. A much too young bride. Another young mother to be, gingerly treading through a treacherous path. Absent are the images they were not allowed to show. That threatened a patriarchal society?s image. Pictures they had been forced to delete. Pictures they had staged, as their reality was being suppressed. To delete, to stage, to deal with censorship. These are things they hadn?t been taught. They were learning on the fly. Dealing with situations as best as they could. They were coping with life. Perhaps the ultimate lesson.
Sohel, 12, lives in Nandina and works in Mostafa Bakery making biscuits and other snacks. He helps his family with his daily wages. It amazes me that a young boy like Sohel has to work for a living instead of going to school. I do not want any child to work for a living. We have to create awareness among people about child labour. Jamalpur, 2009. ? Md. Amir Hossain Apon; 14