VII Interactive: Lecture. The Role of the Storyteller as Activist

December 3, 2020
10:00–11:15AM EST
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This is a photo by Habibul Haque of Drik. We had put up an exhibit in 2010 called “Crossfire” on extrajudicial killings. The government sent in armed police to shut the show down. We took the government to court and were able to get the show reopened on the last day. Despite the closure, the show was remarkably successful and resulted in a significant drop in ‘crossfire’ deaths.

Shahidul Alam is a legendary and inspirational figure in photography and a leading activist in Bangladesh. In this special conversation with Paul Lowe, Shahidul will describe the transformation from doing a PhD in UK as part of a career path to a white-collar job to using the camera as a tool to affect social change in his homeland of Bangladesh. He’ll also talk about the evolution of his style of photography, from his early work in the 80’s documenting street protests against the rule of President Hussain Muhammad Ershad, to more contemporary conceptual work and his multidisciplinary approach. He will also discuss the reasons behind building institutions, and the roles these institutions have played in nation-building. As a photographer whose work has contributed to toppling autocratic regimes and attracting global focus on the needs of his homeland, Shahidul is uniquely positioned to discuss the role of the visual storyteller as activist.

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