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Bangladesh Press Photo Exhibition 2024 at Drik Gallery

Press 2024-07-06, 8:55am


Press photographers honoured at DRIK gallery on Friday.

Dhaka, Jul 5 - Recognizing the achievements of press photographers working on Bangladesh's frontlines, the Bangladesh Press Photo Exhibition 2024, organised by Drik Picture Library, was inaugurated at Drik Gallery in the capital's Panthapath on Friday at 6 pm.

The exhibition showcases 30 selected photographs from the 3rd edition of the Bangladesh Press Photo Contest (BPPC), initiated by Drik in 2022.

The call for submission was announced on April 16 this year. Photojournalists submitted about one thousand photographs taken in 2023 on social, political, and cultural news elements.

One of the BPPC jury members and Drik's Managing Director Shahidul Alam, delivered the welcome address at the opening ceremony. In his speech, he said, “As far as I know, no press photo competition in the world has a public interest journalism category. Due to various reasons including media ownership, the work of the media is limited to party campaigns with pictures of celebrities or prime ministers.”

“The photographers of the images exhibited in the exhibition have done so at their own risk. By proving themselves through their work, photography of Bangladesh has reached far today,” Alam said.

Besides Shahidul Alam, the other jury members were Amal Akash, artist, singer and activist, Samageet; Monirul Alam, photojournalist, educator, EPA, Drik; Shoeb Faruquee, photographer, educator, Photobank Gallery; and Tasmima Hossain, Editor, The Daily Ittefaq.

During their remarks, they reflected on the contest and the selection process. Drik General Manager ASM Rezaur Rahman, also the exhibition curator, moderated the event.

Tasmima Hossain stated, "The work of a photojournalist is very challenging. There is a need for them to see everything with a different eye, but that eye is scarce today. Developing the youth through training is equally important."

The Picture of the Year 2023 was awarded to Quddus Alam of Focus Bangla, who received Tk 1,00,000 as prize money. Expressing his feelings, he said, “I started taking pictures in 1978, and after many struggles, I came to this place today. It would not have been possible to reach this stage without my wife's contribution."

Six other photographers under three categories were also awarded at the event. The winners are - Kazi Golam Kuddus Helal of FIAP and Honourable Mention Piyas Biswas of (Arts, Culture and Sports); Nayem Ali of The Business Standard and Honourable Mention Md Sazid Hossain of The Daily Prothom Alo (Politics), Abdul Goni of Daily Ittefaq and Honourable Mention Syed Mahmudur Rahman of Dainik Bangla (Public Interest Journalism).

The winners and honourable mentions in each category received Tk 50,000 and Tk 10,000 respectively, alongside crests and certificates. 

Denim Chakma was the winner of the Indigenous Community Grant 2024 and received Tk 50,000. He is the second winner after Drik introduced the grant in 2023. The announcement was made at the event by photographer and writer Jannatul Mawa.

While receiving the grant certificate, Denim Chakma said, “Taking photos in the hills of Chittagong while feels like a war. There is always a war situation. Predicting what will happen is impossible.”

The first Indigenous Community Grant winner Paddmini Chakma also exhibited some of her photographs in the exhibition. 

Press photographs have proven to be a reliable source of news even in an age of fake news, making press photographers one of the most threatened professions. While Bangladeshi photographers have been celebrated globally in recent years, there is no formal recognition of their talent or valuation of their contribution to the nation, according to Drik.

To celebrate the achievements of these courageous individuals who tirelessly gather news on the frontlines, the exhibition will remain open to the public till July 26, every day from 3 pm to 8 pm. - UNB