Shahidul Alam’s message about Chobi Mela



Dear Friends,

The 7th edition of the Chobi Mela festival is less than 48 hours away. This time on Friday photographers and visitors from all corners of the world will gather at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy* to officially launch the two-week long festival in Dhaka.

The event calendar for the next two weeks is packed with exciting artist’s talks, thought-provoking discussions, intriguing presentations and much more. And that’s not including the 35 exhibitions that will be on view from 25th January to 7th February.

So pencil in all those dates after skimming over our events schedule.

We hope we will catch a glimpse of you at one of these events and cordially invite you to join us over the next two weeks!

*with their hearts already set on the infamous boat cruise. 🙂


For more details:






Live streaming of Key events:



Shahidul Alam


Chobi Mela is Coming to Town…

…and some of the invited artists are already here with us in beautiful and sunny Dhaka!



In spite of the heavy snow in Paris photographer Hai Zhang managed to get his flight and arrive safely in Bangladesh yesterday morning. Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide and Indian photographer Pablo Bartholomew are also already finding their way through  the hustle and bustle of the streets of Dhaka.

We now expect many more visitors and guests to arrive  over the next 48 hours.

Chobi Mela is certainly making sure that the next few days will be busy at Dhaka Airport!

Hester Keijser to Attend Chobi Mela




Hester Keijser – Slide-show: Middle Eastern Photography
Wednesday, 30 January, 6PM, Goethe-Institut

Hester Keijser is an independent curator with a focus on contemporary photography, especially from the greater Middle East. She is currently engaged as creative co-director of East Wing, a new space for photography established in Doha and Dubai. Since 2006, she has authored the photo blog Mrs. Deane, cited by Wired and the British Journal of Photography as one of the top ten must-reads.

Visit Hester Keijser’s blog:

Visit East Wing’s website:

Nii Obodai to Attend Chobi Mela



Slide-show: African Photography – Curated by Nii Obodai and Bisi Silva
Sunday, 27 January, Goethe-Institut

Born in Accra, Ghana, Francis Nii Obodai Provencal is at ease with the vast and diverse world of his continent. His work mainly explores the urban and rural, not with a detached eye, but with an artist’s careful watching, with a strong interest in history and a love of the stories that abound in his world.

Nii Obodai is presently based in Ghana where he works and lives. He enjoys facilitating inspirational workshops on photography and continues to travel exploring and recording the vibrant essence of life. Nii Obodai has exhibited in Accra, Paris, Bristol, Den Haag, Amsterdam, and Bamako.

If you don’t play, your mind can’t grow. I started exploring photography because the image can be so much fun and the more I grew, the more I tended to perceive through photographs the special relationship between myself and Ghana, the country of my birth.  I grew up mostly in England and Nigeria so to consolidate my being, so to speak, my relationship with Ghana and myself became an implicit part of my photographic mission.” –Nii Obodai

Visit Nii Obodai’s website:

Chris Rainier and Chris Riley to Attend Chobi Mela



Chris Rainier and Chris Riley to Attend Chobi Mela

Chris Rainier and Chris Riley – Book launch: Cultures on the Edge
Wednesday, 30 January, 11AM, Edward M. Kennedy Center

Chris Rainier and Chris Riley – Workshop: Technology and the Future of Culture
Tuesday, 29 January, Pathshala



Chris Rainier is considered one of the leading documentary photographers working today. His mysterious images of sacred places and indigenous peoples of the planet have been seen in  the leading publications of  the day including:  Time, Life, National  Geographic publications, Outside, Conde Nast Traveler, The New York Times, Smithsonian, Mens Journal, Islands, The New Yorker, German and French Geo, and the publications of the International Red Cross, The United Nations, and Amnesty International. Rainier, a Canadian citizen is a photographer for the National Geographic Society and specialises in documenting indigenous cultures for the Societies Cultures Initiative.

Visit Chris Rainier’s website:


Chris Riley has worked as a strategist and researcher in advertising, design and marketing since 1983. Riley ran his own strategic planning consulting practice, Studioriley, between 2002 and 2005 working out of Portland, Munich, Helsinki and Singapore.
Between 2005 and 2010 he was head of Strategic Planning in Apple Inc’s Graphic Design and Marketing Communication Group in Cupertino, California. Riley has learned from successes such as Apple, Nike, Coke, Audi,, Nokia, Uniqlo, Samsung and Nikon as well as a few failures. It’s true: failure is as valuable as success.

Visit Chris Riley’s website:

Maika Elan to Attend Chobi Mela



In spite of some visa issuance problems due to the content of her work Maika Elan is now on her way to the Chobi Mela festival. Thank you to everyone involved in bringing the Vietnamese photographer to Dhaka. We are certainly more than happy that she’ll be with us.

Elan won 2 awards at the IMMF workshop 2010,  ‘The best photo essay’and ‘The best single photo’, was the winner of the Foundry full tuition scholarships for 2012 Chiang Mai workshop and was a participant at theWorld Event Young Artists Festival in Nottingham in September 2012.
For instance, I went to the flower market with this couple I was photographing, and they were just walking around holding hands and flowers, and everyone went berserk. A crowd gathered around us, and people kept pointing and saying, ‘No, you cannot do this here’.” – Maika Elan in Vice

Visit Maika Elan’s website:

NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati to Attend Chobi Mela


NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati,
Presentation: “Retelling histories; creating an archive for family photo albums in Nepal” by Nepal Picture Library
Monday, 28 January, 11AM, EMK Center


In 2007, NayanTara co-founded; a photography collective that has created a vibrant platform for emerging and professional photographers in Nepal. offers Nepali photographers learning opportunities through workshops and creates space for photographers to exhibit, publish and market their work in Nepal, the region and internationally.


Visit NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati’s website:


Visit’s website: