Talks and Events
Tue 31 Mar 2020

Talk: Shahidul Alam

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Hear from the celebrated photographer and activist in this special talk

Over the course of a career spanning more than 40 years, Shahidul Alam has become renowned for his photojournalism and activism. From his work as co-founder of the Drik Picture Library to his ongoing battle for civil rights, both in his native Bangladesh and globally, Alam has documented key moments in history including the removal of former Bangladeshi president Hussain Muhammad Ershad.

This talk will be his first public appearance in the UK since his release on 20 November 2018. It follows his arrest earlier that year in Dhaka and is an opportunity to examine ongoing issues around civil liberties and resistance, particularly in relation to contemporary art and photography, and to reflect more broadly on Alam’s career.

The conversation will be chaired by curator and writer Hammad Nasar



Named one of Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” in 2018, photographer, writer, curator and activist Shahidul Alam set up Drik and Majority World agencies, Pathshala school and Chobi Mela Festival. Alam’s numerous awards include Shilpakala Award, the highest state honour given to Bangladeshi artists. He was the 2018 recipient of Lucie Foundation Humanitarian Award and the ICP Special Presentation Award in 2019. His retrospective Truth to Power (2019) at Rubin Museum and his new book published by Steidl entitled The Tide Will Turn (2020) have received critical acclaim. In August 2018, Alam was arrested for criticising his government and imprisoned for over 100 days.

Hammad Nasar is Senior Research Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, where he co-leads the ‘London, Asia’ project (with Sarah V. Turner), and co-curator (with Irene Aristizabal) of British Art Show 9 (2020–2022). Earlier, he served as the inaugural Executive Director of the Stuart Hall Foundation, London (2018–2019) and Head of Research & Programmes at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong (2012–2016). He also co-founded and co-directed Green Cardamom, London, with Anita Dawood (2004-12). He worked with Shahidul Alam on the landmark exhibition Where Three Dreams Cross: 150 years of photography in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh at the Whitechapel Gallery in 2010.

£8/£5 members & concessions.

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