Talks and Events
Sun 04 Nov 2018

DPP Event: What does Freedom in Journalism look like?

14:00 - 15:30

Free, booking essential

On 5 August 2018, Bangladeshi photographer and educator Shahidul Alam was imprisoned on the grounds of incitement and provocation. Having posted multiple times on Facebook about the student protests concerning road safety in his home country, he was arrested hours after an interview to Al Jazeera on charges of spreading propaganda and false information against the government.

In light of this violation of free speech, organisations and individuals across the UK are mobilising in support of Alam's right to express his views through events and displays of his work. This discussion, curated in collaboration with Autograph, considers more broadly what freedom looks like in relation to photojournalism and the media.

Following an introduction by Saiful Islam about outlining the events that have led to Alam's imprisonment, short talks are given by Lucy Freeman, Mary O’Shea, Anastasia Taylor-Lind and Salil Tripathi, prior to a discussion chaired by Mark Sealy. In the spirit of solidarity participants are encouraged to join us in this conversation.


Saiful Islam is a researcher and CEO of Drik/Majority World. Established in 1989, and based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Drik uses the power of the visual medium to educate, inform and draw powerful emotional responses to influence public opinion. Majority World is a photo agency and social enterprise working with photographers from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

Lucy Freeman is CEO of Media Legal Defence Initiative's (MLD), an organisation that provides legal defence to journalists around the world. They provide emergency financial and technical legal support, pursue strategic litigation and support partner organisations to develop national media defence centres. Prior to joining MLDI, Lucy worked at Amnesty International in various roles.

Mary O’Shea is Head of Programmes at The Rory Peck Trust, a London based organisation dedicated to providing direct support to freelance journalists and their families worldwide, assisting them in times of crisis and helping them to work more safely and professionally. Based in London, the Trust works globally with a network of international and local partners. Prior to joining the Trust Mary worked internationally for over a decade with the United Nations, focused on human rights and democratic governance. 

Mark Sealy MBE is interested in the relationship between photography and social change, identity politics, race, and human rights. Director of London-based photographic arts charity Autograph ABP since 1991, he has produced numerous artist publications, curated exhibitions, and commissioned photographers and filmmakers worldwide, including the critically acclaimed Human Rights Human Wrongs exhibition curated for Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto, in 2013 and The Photographers’ Gallery, London, in 2015.

Anastasia Taylor-Lind is an English/Swedish photojournalist who has spent more than a decade creating long-form narrative reportage for monthly magazines on issues relating to women, violence and war. She is a Harvard Nieman Fellow 2016, a TED fellow and a National Geographic Magazine contributor. Anastasia regularly comments on the complexities of visualising mass violence in the media, and is working on a book about the way we tell contemporary war stories. Her first monograph MAIDAN - Portraits from the Black Square, which documents the 2014 Ukrainian uprising in Kiev, was published by GOST books the same year.

Salil Tripathi is the Chair of the Writers in Prison Committee at PEN International, the world's leading organisation on free expression. He is the author of three works of non-fiction, including The Colonel Who Would Not Repent, which tells the story of Bangladesh's liberation war and its aftermath. Salil wrote the lead essay in the volume Shahidul Alam edited on the liberation war, Birth Pangs of a Nation. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New York Review of Books, New Statesman, South China Morning Post, San Francisco Chronicle, amongst others.

Free, booking essential. Please note: Once the event is fully booked, additional guests will be admitted on the day on a first come first serve basis, although entry is not guaranteed.

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Supported by The Death Penalty Project, Simons Muirhead & Burton.