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Shahidul Alam

Photographer, Writer and Activist; Founder of Drik Picture Library, Bangladesh

One of Time Magazine's Persons of the Year 2018, photographer, writer and human rights activist Shahidul Alam obtained a Ph.D. in chemistry from London University, before taking up photography. Returning to his native country Bangladesh in 1984, he campaigned to bring down autocratic general Hussain Muhammad Ershad. In his pursuit of social justice he set up the award-winning organizations, Drik, Pathshala and Chobi Mela, through media, education and culture. Shahidul has lectured at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford and Yale universities. He is a visiting professor of Sunderland University and an honorary fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. He has been exhibited at Moma, Tate Modern and Centre de Pompidou. His awards include the ICP Infinity Award Special Presentation Award, as well as the Shilpakala Award, the highest cultural award given to Bangladeshi artists. Shahidul is the only person of color to have chaired the prestigious international jury of World Press Photo. In 2018 he was jailed and tortured for speaking out against his government's repressive practices. John Morris, the legendary picture editor of Life Magazine, described his book "My Journey as a Witness" as "The most important book ever written by a photographer."

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