Via Shahidul Alam
The World Press Photo Foundation, based in Holland and Bangladesh’s Drik photo agency have made it possible to showcase the work of hundreds of world class photographers in Dhaka.
It’s an amazing feat that the exhibit is again back in Dhaka. Had it not been for Alam’s persistence and a stern letter to the organizers over 11 years ago, the exhibit would have as usual catered only to the countries in the West (rendering moot the words “World Press”). It’s to Alam’s credit that WPP has made Dhaka an almost annual stopover. This year’s chairperson of the jury happens to be Alam!
Alam says, “With hundreds of people seeing the show every day, and excellent media coverage, it might appear as if the staging of WPP photo in Bangladesh was a smooth well organised affair. As Marc will testify, the reality was very different. For those of you who have seen the show at the gallery or online, this behind the scenes look will provide an amusing take on a potential disaster.”
The crates had arrived at Zia International Airport on the 24th of December 2003, but the journey from Zia to Dhanmondi took considerably longer. The opening was at 4:00 pm on the 7th January 2004. By 3:30 pm, the crates hadn’t arrived! We did know they had left the airport, and was able to tell the Dutch Ambassador that it was safe for him to come over. The head of the caretaker government, our chief guest, Justice Habibur Rahman was already on his way. The adrenaline was flowing!
The exhibit will run from January 7 through January 29, 2004. Read more about it here.
Two photojournalists to watch out for at this exhibit are the American photojournalist based in New Delhi, Ami Vitale and the Belgian photographer Bruno Stevens who shot a story on the Hindu-Muslim riots.