Choosing Chobi Mela

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Choosing Chobi Mela


It truly is a wonder that Chobi Mela, one of Asia’s most well-regarded photo festivals, is founded and held biannually in Bangladesh, a country most Singaporeans would associate with supplying their country’s foreign hard labour workforce. It is testament that at the end, it is people – the right people, not policies, economics and what have you matrixes, that are the true building decks. The people in this case are Drik Picture Library and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, and the person undoubtedly, is Festival Director Shahidul Alam.

Chobi Mela International Festival Of Photography opens their eighth edition this week and runs from 23rd January to 5th February, 2015. Chobi Mela VIII’s “Intimacy” theme features work from over 30 artists from across 22 countries. One of the components that set Chobi Mela apart from most other festivals in Asia are their lectures, talks and forums. This year sees Magnum Photographer Larry Towell, New York Times Lens Blog Editor James Estrin, Bangladeshi legendary photographer Anwar Hossain amongst others as guests. This year’s festival is curated principally by Munem Wasif, ASM Rezaur Rahman and Tanzim Wahab.

“The festival provides an opportunity not only to enjoy the outstanding work of national and international photographers but also raises important social issues critical to our existence” ASM Rezaur Rahman.

“We have some surprises waiting for the audience of Chobi Mela. We are experimenting with locations by taking exhibitions to alternative places like a half-abandoned theater or library of Old Dhaka to create a dialogue between the city and photography. Wide diversity of photographic genre is also a special inclusion of the festival.” Tanzim Wahab.

Chobi Mela International Festival Of Photography is high on my list of must-visit photo festivals. The complete programme for this year’s edition is available on: http://www.chobimela.org/programme/

Our best wishes to the team – Have a great 8th Festival!

© Yusuf Sevincli, Chobi Mela
© Tapash Paul, Chobi Mela
Nothing To Lose VIII (Bodies of Experience), 1989
Anna, a Nigerian sex worker on her makeshift bed on the fringes.
© Nepal Picture Library, Chobi Mela
© Max Pinckers, Chobi Mela
Transexuals from Lahore Pakistan.
Close Distance.
From the series "Waiting", 2009-2013, Saint-Petersburg, Moscow. Russia.
© Denis Dailleux, Chobi Mela.
© Anwar Hossain, Bangladesh.
© Abdollah Heidari, Bangladesh
Participating countries: 22

Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Egypt, Estonia, France, Germany, Guatemala, India, Iran, Italy, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, USA, UK, Ukraine.

Artists: 31

Abdollah Heidari, Alexandra Serrano, Andrea Diefenbach, Antoine Bruy, Anwar Hossain, Arthur Bondar, Cristina Nunez, Denis Dailleux, Dinesh Abiram, Hadi Uddin, Jana Romanova, Jannatul Mawa, Kevin Bubriski, Larry Towell, Laura El-Tantawy, Luis Gonjalez Palma, Mahesh- Shantaram, Malcolm Hutcheson, Maria Kapajeva, Max Pinckers, Michel Le Belhomme, Nepal Picture Library, Paolo Patrizi, Philip Blenkin sop, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Sean Lee, Shirin Neshat, Simon Norfolk, Tapash Paul, Tushikur Rahman, Yusuf Sevincli

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