Chobi Mela VII International Festival of Photography debuts on 25 January

Celebrating diversity, unleashing potential

Chobi Mela VII International Festival of Photography will be launched on the 25 January and will be on till 7 February, 2013 in Dhaka Bangladesh. This seventh edition of the festival features 34 diverse and exciting exhibitions with artists representing more than 24 countries and once again shows that it is one of the most demographically inclusive photo festivals in the world. Under this year’s theme of fragility, fine art photographers, conceptual artists and photojournalist explore our tenuous existence, the tortured planet, the subtleties of racial diversity and multiculturalism, while looking at magic and beauty amidst the drudgery of everyday life.

Celebrating diversity this year the prestigious line-up of award winning exhibiting artists include Eugene Richards from US; Gideon Mendel from UK; J. D. Okhai Ojeikere from Nigeria; Lu Guang, Muge and Zhang Hai from China; Graciela Iturbide from Mexico; Max Pam from Australia; Pablo Bartholomew and Richard Bartholomew from IndiaZiyah Gafić from Bosnia and Sandra Vitaljićfrom Croatia.

The weeklong morning and evening discussions, seminars and lectures will initiate debates and discussions on issues central to contemporary photographic practice.

Artist Talk’s will be given by Pablo Bartholomew, India; Richard Billingham, UK; Morten Krogvold, Norway; Nasir Ali Mamun, Bangladesh; Max Pam, Australia and Graciela Iturbide, Mexico and Jodi Bieber, South Africa. Eight workshops and a number of portfolio reviews by international artists and photography professionals will also take place during the festival period.

Furthermore, there will be 5 curated slide-show presentations, each one focusing on photography on a specific geopolitical region in the world: African Photography by Nii Obodai and Bisi Silva; South-East Asian Photography by Françoise Call; Australian Photography by Jody Haines; Middle Eastern Photography by Hester Keijser, and Bangladeshi Photography by Munem Wasif.

Other participants who will share their wealth of knowledge and experience include Ruth Eichhorn, Director of Photography for GEO magazines; Germany, Patrick Witty, International Picture Editor from TIME Magazine, US; Robert Pledge, President of Contact Press Images from Contact Press, US; Chris Rainier, long-time Contributing Editor for National Geographic Traveler Magazine, US;, Chris Riley, US media innovator, and formerly head of planning in the Graphic Design Group at Apple, Inc. US; Christopher Pinney, Professor of Anthropology and Visual Culture at University College London, UK, and Jody Haines, Curator and Exhibitions Co-ordinator from Brisbane Powerhouse Arts, Australia.

Chobi Mela VII coincides with a worldwide awareness of Bangladeshi photography. “The medium has put Bangladesh on the global map “ says Shahidul Alam, Director of the Festival. “It is time the nation itself began to recognise the phenomenal achievements of its photographers and played its due role in the development of the medium.”

Mohammad Anisul Hoque, Rafiqul Shuvo, Rasel Chowdhury, Saiful Huq Omi, Samsul Alam Helal,Sarker Protick and Shumon Ahmed are the gifted Bangladeshi storytellers who will represent the huge creative potential in the country.

The unique festival will be launched on the 25 January, 2013 at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy with parallel exhibitions at Alliance Française de Dhaka, The Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts,Chobir Haat, Dhaka Art Center, Drik Gallery, and at the Lichutala at Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University.

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