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Shahidul Alam: My Journey as a Witness

An insight into the evolution of one of the most significant movements in contemporary photography, through the eyes and voice of the man who shaped it. An extraordinary artist, Shahidul Alam is a photographer, writer, activist, and social entrepreneur who used his art to chronicle the social and artistic struggles in a country known largely for poverty and disasters.

Lucid and personal, this much-awaited book includes 130 photographs tracing Alam’s artistic career, activism, and the founding of photography organizations. From early images shot in England to photographs of the last two decades in his native Bangladesh, this is a journey from photojournalism into social justice. Alam’s superb imagery is matched by his perceptive accounts, at once deeply intimate and bitingly satirical.
Edited by Rosa Maria Falvo

Pub Date: September 23, 2011

Format: Hardcover

Category: Photography – Individual Photographer

Publisher: Skira

Trim Size: 9-1/2 x 11

US Price: $50.00

CAN Price: $57.00

ISBN: 978-88-572-0966-1

Rosa Maria Falvo is a writer and curator, and Skira’s international commissions editor, specialising in Asian contemporary art.

My Journey as a Witness


Date and Venue

6:30 PM, Friday, 23 September 2011

Bengal Shilpalaya

House 42, Road 16 (New) Sheikh Kamal Sarani

Dhanmondi, Dhaka 1209, Bangladesh

Speeches by

Ms. Luva N Choudhury

Bengal Foundation

Dr. Shahidul Alam


Ms. Rosa Maria Falvo

Editor, My Journey as a Witness and

International commissions editor, Skira

H E Mr. Giorgio Guglielmino

Ambassador of Italy in Bangladesh

Mr. Nurul Islam Nahid, MP

Honourable Minister for Education

Government of Bangladesh

The touring version of the exhibition:

London:  6th October 2011 at the Wilmotte Gallery (formerly Patrick Litchfield’s studio)

The London launch (Grand Hyatt Churchill) will take place on the 10th October 2011

India:New Delhi launch at Habitat Centre 15th October 2011

USA: New York launch at Rizolli Book Store 10th November 2011

About the Author

Shahidul Alam, A photographer, writer, curator and activist, Shahidul Alam obtained a PhD in chemistry at London University before switching to photography. He returned to his hometown Dhaka 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, the South Asian Media Academy, considered one of the finest schools of photography in the world. He is the Director of the Chobi Mela International Festival of Photography and chairman of the Majority World photo 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.

Alam has been a speaker at Harvard, Stanford and UCLA universities in US; Oxford and Cambridge universities in the UK;  museums such as Tate Modern in the UK and Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland. He has been a jury member in prestigious international contests, including World Press Photo, which he chaired and Prix Pictet, chaired by Kofi Annan.

An Honorary Fellow of the Bangladesh Photographic Society and the Royal Photographic Society, Alam is a visiting professor of Sunderland University in the UK.. He is on the advisory board of the National Geographic Society and the Eugene Smith Fund. Alam is also an active blogger and on the international jury 2012 for the “Best of Blogs” contest organised by Deutsche Welle.

Alam has worked extensively on human rights issues and set up www.banglarights.net the human rights portal of Bangladesh. His recent work “Crossfire” on extra judicial killings, received worldwide coverage. The provocative show was closed down by the Bangladeshi government, but reopened after Alam challenged the government in court. He is now working on a countrywide tour of the show in collaboration with grassroots human rights organisations.

His recent book “My Journey as a witness” has been published by the Italian fine art publisher Skira and listed in the “Best Photo Books of the year 2011” compilation by American Photo Magazine. John Godfrey Morris the former picture editor of Life Magazine has called it “the most important book ever written by a photographer”. Alam is currently establishing archives on the 1971 war of liberation of Bangladesh and setting up a rural journalism network in the country.

Interviews and features on Shahidul Alam

CV of Shahidul Alam


Introductions by Sebastião Salgado and Raghu Rai

Media Contact: Amina Neyamat 

Communications Officer, Drik Picture Library

Dhaka, Bangladesh.

e-mail: amina@drik.net

Mobile: +880 1708416074 


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