ASEF culture360 is delighted to launch a new research on contemporary photography in Bangladesh. Commissioned to the leading photo agency Drik Images and researched by Mr Imran Ahmed, Chobiwalas of Bangladesh maps the present state of photography in the country. The research looks at the historical origins of modern photography and in particular, identifies Bangladesh’s war of independence in 1971 as the turning point for the development of documentary photography. Later, photographers themselves played a pivotal role in advocating for photography to be recognised as an art form.
The research continues with a description of the main types of photography practiced in the country, such as photojournalism, documentary photography, fashion photography, development photography and corporate photography. It also identifies sources of funding, education and training opportunities as well as organisations like Pathshala-South Asian Media Insitute that are playing an important role in the appreciation and development of this medium.
Among the threats, the absence of proper archival system and lack of resources for digitisation are still a concern. This is also the case with intellectual property rights: recurrent plagiarisation and infringement of copyright are still very diffused throughout the country. On the positive side, art institutions like the Dhaka Art Summit and some corporations have started collecting photography, supporting this way, the validation of this art form. The popularity of social media tools and the growth of smartphone usage are also playing a role in actively promoting photography within Bangladesh and internationally.
Download the full research here: Chobiwalas Of Bangladesh