Via Shahidul Alam
“During my regular visits to the River Buriganga this particular bridge to Kamrangeer char often fascinates me. When the monsoon water comes, filling the river to the brim, children – all boys – are attracted to the suspended beams of this metal structure. The joy of a life infinite and with all the freedom in the world… It brings back memories of my childhood in a village with abundant water around it.
In city life children are stranded within the concrete blocks they call home. Adults forget that they, too, once had a happy life. They tell the little ones not to be too adventurous, always to be safe. I want adults to let children be what they are. I feel poor children at times are happier than the protected, privileged ones in the comfort zone. These boys made me feel like going back to the days of my childhood. For a photographer there are times when you don’t think much: you simply rush to capture the moment.
Later I had a talk with the boys. They were all working children – they had money for themselves and to contribute to their family income. After they’d spent the morning collecting scraps from the streets and had sold their bounty they’d come for a jumping session. Who could jump from the highest point?
I work with my friends at the Map Photo Agency. We have been together as a team for 11 years now and work on social issues, advocating awareness through images. Going back to the community I work for, returning with the images I have taken and seeing the smile on their faces, is always rewarding.”
The observations above, in Southern Exposure, are from Shafiqul Alam Kiron who is a photojournalist based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Southern Exposure is Shahidul Alam’s way of introducing photographers from what he calls the “Majority World.”
New Internationalist, which publishes Southern Exposure has an archive containing some very interesting photography. Odd as it may sound, at times, I am sometimes drawn more by the writing than the photography in there.
Interested in sending your work to be considered? Here is the call for entries:
Southern Exposure Photo Entries
We encourage all photographers – particularly women – living and working in Africa, Asia or Latin America, whose work addresses the broad aims of the NI magazine, to submit potential images for this page. The requirements are as follows:
Format: preferably portrait
Colour: black and white or full colour
Caption: a maximum of 150 words describing both the content of the image and how the photographer came to take it.
Enquiries and submissions: preferably by email or by post to:
55 Rectory Road,
Oxford OX4 1BW, UK
Please note that we cannot guarantee to return entries – originals should never be sent