Freedom of Expression

Dhaka University Raju Vaskorjo March 2010-Freedom of Expression.Photographers and students from the South Asian Media Academy on Monday demonstrate protest against the law personnel and unauthorized shut down of Shahidul Alam's Crossfire exhibition at Drik Gallery on March 22.-Copy Right-Monirul Alam

The photography exhibition titled “Crossfire” by noted photojournalist Shahidul Alam was finally opened for public at Drik Gallery yesterday, eight days after police obstructed visitors from entering the gallery.

Shahidul Alam, also managing director of Drik, said yesterday the government lawyers confirmed that the police deployed in front of his gallery were withdrawn and there would be no further obstruction.

The deadline of the exhibition opened for public around 5:00pm was extended to April 14.

The schedule was extended as the previous deadline ended yesterday, Alam told a press conference at Pathshala, South Asian Media Academy and the educational wing of Drik.

Dhaka University March 2010- Freedom of Expression-Copy Right-Monirul Alam

“The exhibition was on and continued so far, but people could not enter the Gallery,” he said.

He added they have taken an alternative measure to hold the exhibition in the building as they have to leave the gallery for other prescheduled exhibitions.

“We would not be able to hold the exhibition the way we have planed it. But we are trying to hold it in other way at the building,” he said.

On the exhibition, he said, “Crossfire is a much-talked-about issue and we think we have something to say about it.

“Though the government pledged to stop crossfire before and after the elections, it is still occurring which is a matter of worry,” Alam said. He alleged the events of “crossfire” occurring in 2009 are higher than what happened during the army-backed caretaker government in 2008.

“When the exhibition could create such reaction only because of having the name ‘crossfire’, the meaning of the word comes clear,” he said.

Besides, there is no reason to raise objection to the exhibition and those who raised objection know the relation between photographs and crossfire, he added.

Dhaka University March 2010-Freedom of Expression.Photographers and students from the South Asian Media Academy on Monday demonstrate protest against the law personnel and unauthorized shut down of Shahidul Alam's Crossfire exhibition at Drik Gallery on March 22.-Copy Right-Monirul Alam

“This sort of bar from the government is illegal and we protest against it,” he said.

Meantime, the authorities of Pathshala at the press conference demanded immediate arrest and punishment of the people who gave death threat to its Principal Shahidul Alam twice for the exhibition.

Expressing concern, they demanded that security measures for Alam be ensured.

Pathshala Vice-principal Abir Abdullah said an anonymous man on March 26 and another on March 27 threatened Alam with death and asked about the reasons of the exhibition.

“We think every citizen of the country should have the freedom of expression,” he said.

Regarding the threat, Alam said it is a matter of regret for the people when a citizen issued death threat to another in front of the law-enforcement agencies.

“I cannot even do the normal work now,” he said.

(Report on the Daily Star newspaper)

Dhaka Pathshala March 2010-Dr. Shahidul Alam principal of Pathshala (right) and Abir Abdullah Vice-Principal (left) at a press conference -Copy Right-Monirul Alam

Bangladeshi War Photojournalist

Please Click the picture to read bangla text
Dhaka-October 2007-War photojournalist Mohammad Alam left and photojournalist Abir Abdullah (EPA) discuss with digital camera. I took this picture at Air port railway station on 10 Oct 2007 Copy Right- Monirul Alam

Note: Please click on the image to read my bangla write up about Bangladeshi war photojournalist Mohammad Alam . . .

Conflict Series

Social injustices, Political crises, Ignoring the nature are the common topic of our daily life. We are leaving in a civilized world, as a member of this large civilized society. Most of the time we failed to fell the rhythm between the thought, words and act, every where there is a conflict . . .

Dhaka-University, September 2007-Conflict Series-Copy Right-Monirul Alam
Dhaka-Panthapath, September 2007-Conflict Series-Copy Right-Monirul Alam

Dhaka Elephant Road, July 2006-Conflict Series-Copy Right-Monirul Alam
Dhaka Agargaon, September 2007-Conflict Series-Copy Right-Monirul Alam
Dhaka Baribadh, July 2006-Conflict Series-Copy Right-Monirul Alam

Salty Tears . . .

We have no drinking water due to salinity; the high tide raised in significant rate the embankments had collapsed three times within last two years said a villager Mohammad Johor Ali who is working as a boatman. When the storm is arrived I went to take shelter near a small cannel and anchor my boat at BDR (ghat) slope and praying to the Allah and just waiting for die because situation is not to explain …. I think the Allah save me ….

                                 -Mohammad Johor Ali, A Boat Man, Gabura Village

Gabura,Satkhera February,2010- People rebuild their collapsed embankment-Copy Right-Monirul Alam

Bangladesh is situated at the interface of two different environments, with the Bay of Bengal to the south and the Himalayas to the north. This peculiar geography of Bangladesh causes not only life-giving monsoons but also catastrophic ravages of natural disasters, to which now are added climate change. Floods, Droughts Cyclones and Tidal surges are common threats now in Bangladesh. The country has a very low and flat topography, except the northeast and southeast regions. About 10 percent of the country is hardly 1 meter above the Mean Sea Level, and one-third is under tidal excursions.

Gabura is like an Island. It is the most southern settlement of Southwest Coastal Bangladesh. Increased salinity interruptions, agricultural damage, high tide rose, drinking water crises and frequent tiger attack is daily hazard of the people. The name of Gabura is widely discussed as become almost barren land after cyclone Aila. I was there, after nine month of cyclone Aila to see and talked with them.

People rebuild their collapsed embankment again and again. They fight with bamboo, mud and full of their energy against the sea- they lost their homeland but not to their hope, they fight and struggle continuously for surviving their lives. I think their struggle against the sea is really amazing it’s an example for the world’s people at the same time I deeply observed to their salty tears that lost their dearest one’s . . .