Shahidul Alam | The Challenge of being a Journalist in Bangladesh Today: The Chowdhury Center Distinguished Lecture for 2019

Lecture | November 9 | 5:30-7:30 p.m. |  Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center

 Shahidul Alam, Photographer, writer, human rights activist, and Time magazine’s 2018 Person of the Year

 Geeta Anand, Acting Professor of Reporting, UC Berkeley School of Journalism

 The Subir & Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies, Institute for South Asia Studies, The South Asia Art Initiative at UC Berkeley, Department of History of Art, Blum Center for Developing Economies, Master of Development Practice, Department of Art Practice, Graduate School of Journalism, Human Rights Center

The Subir & Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies at UC Berkeley is honored to welcome Time magazine’s 2018 Person of the Year, photographer, writer, and human rights activist Shahidul Alam to deliver the Chowdhury Center Distinguished Lecture for 2019.

PLEASE NOTE THAT PARKING WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT ON THIS DAY DUE TO A CAL FOOTBALL GAME. YOU ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OR USE A RIDE SHARE APP (LIKE UBER OR LYFT) AS PARKING WILL BE MOSTLY RESERVED FOR THOSE COMING TO THE GAME.

A Time magazine Person of the Year for 2018, photographer, writer, and human rights activist Shahidul Alam obtained his PhD in chemistry from London University before taking up photography. Returning to his native country of Bangladesh in 1984, he campaigned to bring down autocratic General Hussain Muhammad Ershad. In his pursuit of social justice, he set up award-winning organizations: the Drik Picture Library (1989), an independent media agency that promotes work by local image-makers; the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute (1998), the first ever school of photography in South Asia; and Chobi Mela (2000), an international festival for photography. He also co-established the international photo agency Majority World.

His book My journey as a Witness has been described by John Morris, the legendary picture editor of Life magazine, as the “most important book ever written by a photographer.” A recognized public speaker, Alam has lectured at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford, and Yale Universities. His work has been exhibited at MoMA, Tate Modern, and the Centre Georges Pompidou. His awards include the Lucie Foundation Award, Frontline Club Tribute Award, the ICP Infinity Award, as well as the Shilpakala Award, the highest cultural award given to Bangladeshi artists. Alam is the only person of color to have chaired the prestigious international jury of World Press Photo. He is a visiting professor of Sunderland University and an honorary fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.\

In August of 2018, Dr. Alam was detained for peacefully expressing his views against his government’s repressive practices. His most recent book, The Tide Will Turn, is a record of Alam’s time in jail. Combining his photos and texts with those of a range of collaborators, including artwork by Sofia Karim and fellow inmates, the book documents his experiences, the global support for his release, and the ongoing fight for secularism and democracy in Bangladesh and beyond.

Read more about Dr. Alam HERE.

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Established in 2013 the Subir & Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies at UC Berkeley champions the study of Bangladesh’s cultures, peoples and history. The first of its kind in the US, the Center’s mission is to create an innovative model combining research, scholarships, the promotion of art and culture, and the building of ties between institutions in Bangladesh and the University of California.

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PARKING INFORMATION
Please note that parking will be very difficult on this day due to a Cal football game. You are strongly encouraged to take public transportation or use a ride share app (like Uber or Lyft) as parking will be mostly reserved for those coming to the game.

EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

 isas@berkeley.edu, 510-642-3608