Photographer, Teacher and Social Activist, Bangladesh. Jury Member The BOBs 2012
Born in 1955 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Shahidul Alam obtained a PhD from the University of London. Best known as a photographer, Alam started photography in 1980 and just after two years he was awarded the ‘Harvey Harris Troph’ for best photography by the London Arts Council. He started working as a commercial and advertising photographer in Dhaka in 1984 and became the president of the Bangladesh Photographic Society in 1989. Immediately after that he started documenting the popular resistance against autocratic president General Ershad. Undoubtedly, it was Alam who became the first Asian recipient of the prestigious Mother Jones Award in 1993.
Shahidul is the founder of ‘Drik Picture Library’, the Bangladesh Photographic Institute; ‘Pathshala’, the South Asian Institute of Photography; along with ‘Meghbarta’, Bangladesh's first webbased magazine and ‘Chobi Mela’, the first festival of photography in Asia.
Being the father of the Bangladesh Human Rights Network, he is currently involved in setting up a regional centre for investigative journalism and public information access booths in Bangladesh .
As a prominent social activist, Alam is also a promoter of new media and helped to setup the first web portal inBangladesh. His work has been shown in many leading galleries and he has lectured and published widely on photography, new media and education all over the world. Alam’s book ‘My journey as a witness’ was launched in Dhaka on the 23rd September 2011. He has also made a short film called ‘In Search of the Shade of the Banyan Tree', which was showed in Bangladesh , Malaysia, UK and in the USA. Shahidul Alam is on the board of trustees and a founder member of the LEARN Foundation which provides ICT training for rural communities.
Alam was also a Jury member in numerous international photographic competitions including World Press Photo. He was awarded the Andrea Frank Foundation Award and the Howard Chapnick Award among many others.