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Photo militants, defying the laws of gravity

Image from Close Distance

An image from 'Close Distance' by Rich Mix participant Jannatul Mawa. © Jannatul Mawa

Regular readers of New Internationalist will be familiar with the pioneering media school, Pathshala, in Bangladesh, with which we have had a long and friendly association. Its founder, Shahidul Alam, even guest-edited a special photography issue for us in 2007.

Now, some of the best photography from the school will reach a wider audience, as Rich Mix hosts a ‘Defying the laws of gravity’ exhibition, showcasing ‘seven Bangladeshi photographers who are at the forefront of one of the most powerful photographic movements of our time – one that challenges injustice and takes rightful ownership of the visual narrative of Bangladesh past, present, and future. They are photo-militants who have learnt to defy the rules of gravity; and with the lightest of touches address the wrongs of society through their art of photography.’

The Rich Mix website goes on:

The work is remarkable for its range. This diversity is held together by the depth of insight and knowledge each photographer has for their subject – from Taslima Akhter’s intense understanding of the struggles of garment workers, Abir Abdullah’s tender humanity towards war veterans and their dreams, to Shahidul Alam’s historic first ‘photo story’ of Bangladesh’s struggle for democracy and Anisul Hoque’s quest for the self through his close links with Bangladesh’s forests and mountains.

The exhibition is also a celebration of a group of extraordinary sister organizations all based in Bangladesh’s capital city, Dhaka and founded by the same visionary, Shahidul Alam. Pathshala (training institute), Drik (multimedia agency), Chobi Mela (international photo festival) and Majority World (global photo agency) have in less than 15 years created a revolution in the global photographic industry. Dhaka is now seen as one of the best places in the world for photographers to learn their craft, become creative social entrepreneurs, and diversify the visual narrative of the world we all live in.

Exhibition photographers: Abir Abdullah, Taslima Akhter, Shahidul Alam, Sarker Protick, Anisul Hoque, Jannatul Mawa and Tushikur Rahman.

The free exhibition, at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA, runs from 5-28 March. Full details on the Rich Mix website.

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