A photographer, writer, curator and activist, Shahidul Alam obtained a PhD in chemistry at the University of London before taking up photography. He returned to his hometown ofDhaka in 1984, where he photographed the democratic struggle to remove General Ershad. A former president of the Bangladesh Photographic Society, Alam set up the award-winning Drik agency, the Bangladesh Photographic Institute and Pathshala – South Asian Media Institute, now considered one of the finest schools of photography in the world.
Director of the ChobiMela festival and chairman of Majority World agency, Alam’s work has been exhibited in galleries such as MOMA in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Royal Albert Hall in London and The Museum of Contemporary Arts in Tehran. A guest curator of the National Art Gallery in Malaysia and the Brussels Biennale, Alam’s numerous photographic awards include the Mother Jones and the Andrea Frank Awards. He has been a jury member for a number of prestigious international contests, including World Press Photo, which he chaired. An Honorary Fellow of the Bangladesh Photographic Society and the Royal Photographic Society, Alam is also a visiting professor at Sunderland University in the UK.
Since graduating in photography from Pathshala – South Asian Media Institute, Tanzim Wahab has worked as an independent photographer and lecturer based in Dhaka. Since 2013, Tanzim is the Vice Principal of Pathshala. He is also one of the curators of ChobiMela – International Photo Festival (www.chobimela.com). Jointly with his co-editor Munem Wasif, he has published two editions of “Kamra” – A comprehensive Bangla book of photography on setting ideas and debates in photographic history & theories (www.kamrabooks.com). His photographic work has been published and presented in Saudi Aramco World, The Daily Star, New Nation, ChobiMela V Digital Show and many more. He has participated in Train the Trainer workshops by Kevin Burden (World Press Photo, Amsterdam) and Dr. Ulrich Gaertner (Dhaka). As a teacher and assistant teacher, he has taught at several national and international workshops, including the Oslo University & Pathshala Collaborative International Reportage Workshop in Kathmandu, ChobiMela International Photo Festival Workshops IV & V in Dhaka, and Telling the Stories, in Chittagong, Sylhet and Kathmandu. Over time, his passion for teaching photography to children has grown, and he has also taught for the UNICEF Adolescent Program and Anchor Photo Festival in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Abir Abdullah photographs people close to him, people he has somehow been touched by. He works primarily on personal projects, doing sensitive, in-depth work on stories that matter to him on a personal level. The qualities of Abir and his work: honesty, courage, clarity, will be termed traditional by many, and indeed the style of his work is of the classical mood of the photographers he admires, such as Sebastiao Salgado or Raghu Rai. However, there is a gentle bravery in his work that is perhaps timeless. Abir’s sensitive work on environmental issues is especially notable.
Abir Abdullah was born in 1971 in Bagerhat, Southern Bangladesh. He obtained a Master’s degree in Marketing from Dhaka University, before taking up photography. He was amongst the first batch of students ever to study at Pathshala and completed a three-year seminar (Pleasure of Life) assigned and supported by World Press Photo Foundation (Netherlands). He started working as a freelance photographer in 1994, and was a staff photographer at Drik Picture Library from 1996 to 2005. He currently works as the Bangladesh correspondent for the European Press Photo Agency (EPA), as well being a tutor at Pathshala – South Asian Media Institute. His photographs have been published in Time, Newsweek, Der Spiegel, New Internationalist, The Guardian, International Herald Tribune, Asiaweek, El Mundo, Stern and Geo amongst others. His numerous awards include Mother Jones, NPPA, Days Japan, and Islamic Unity-Iran. His photographs have been exhibited in Europe, South America, Asia and the U.S. His work has been published in a number of books, including the World Press Photo book “New Stories” and “Blink” (Phaidon Press).
Growing up in the small town of Comilla, Munem Wasif’s dream kept changing from becoming a pilot to a cricket player and then a photographer. He found his studies in photography at Pathshala – South Asian Media Institute a life-changing experience; one which made him aware of his stories, and gave him a photographic voice. He began to photograph the dying industries and afflicted workers of jute and tea, excluded people and disrupted lands due to environmental change and salt water, and a nostalgic city of love, Old Dhaka. Wasif prefers to photograph his known people, and thus his country, Bangladesh;giving him an ‘inside’ perspective on his stories. Wasif has won ‘City of Perpignan Young Reporter’s Award’ (2008) at Visa pour I’image, Prixpictet commission (2009), F25 award for concerned photography from Fabrica (2008) and the Joop Swart Masterclass (2007) amongst others. His photographs have been published in Le Monde, Sunday Times Magazine, Geo, The Guardian, Politiken, Mare, Du, Days Japan, L’Espresso, Liberation, Wall Street Journal and many others. He has had exhibitions worldwide including at the Musée de l’Elysée & Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland, Kunsthal Museum & Noorderlicht festival in the Netherlands, Angkor Photo Festival & Photo PhnomPenh in Cambodia, and Whitechapel Gallery in England, Palais de Tokyo and Visa pour I’image in France, as well as ChobiMela in Bangladesh. Since 2008, is represented by Agence VU in Paris. Furthermore, he was one of the curators of ChobiMela VII – International Festival of Photography (2015). His book ‘Belonging’ published in France by Clementine de la Ferroniere in September 2013 is about Old Dhaka, the historic part of the countries capital Bangladesh.
Sarker Protick is a Documentary photographer based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. After completing his bachelors in marketing, he studied photography at Pathshala – South Asian Media Institute. He later did courses in New Media Journalism at the University of Virginia and documentary photography at University of Gloucestershire, UK. His photographs have been published in National Geographic Magazine, British Journal of Photography, Wired, This is Paper, Phase Magazine, Punctum Magazine, Helsingin Sanomat, Private Magazine, Feature Shoot and many more. He was chosen by the British Journal of Photography as ‘One to watch’ in 2014 and awarded the Joop Swart Masterclass in 2014.In 2012, Sarker won the “Prix Mark Grosset Pour les EcolesPhotographiquesInternationales” and the World Bank Art Program. He has exhibited at ChobiMela International Photography Festival, Noorderlicht Photo Festival, Photovisa Festival, Organ Vida Festival of Photography, Dhaka Art Summit, Tokyo month of Photography and Festival of Promenades Photographiques. Sarker was selected for the World Press Photo JoopSchwartMasterclass In 2015, he went on to win a World Press Photo award for his story ‘What Remains’ and also named for PDN’s 30.His work was selected for the Pathshala monograph ‘Under the Banyan Tree’, a 12-year retrospective of Pathshala. Sarker is a lecturer at Pathshala – South Asian Media Institute.
Debasish Shom was born in 1979 at the southern part of Bangladesh. After completing a three years course in photography from Pathshala – South Asian Media Institute, he started his commercial photographic career in a fashion magazine. His photographic work has been exhibited twice in Chobi Mela Photo Festival and publsihed in many national and international agencies like Saudi Aramco World Magazine, Daily New Age, Daily Star Forum and Daily New Nation. He is currently the faculty member of Pathshala teaching Studio Photography, Darkroom Practice and Digital Photography.
To him, photography is the interpretation of his psychological and emotional thoughts- a medium to express the emotion in the relationship with all belongings. And the images are belongings of alternative expressions and undiscovered realities.