A photographer, writer, curator and activist, Shahidul Alam obtained a PhD in chemistry at London University before switching to photography. He returned to his hometown Dhaka in 1984, where he photographed the democratic struggle to remove General Ershad.
A former president of the Bangladesh Photographic Society, Alam set up the award winning Drik agency, the Bangladesh Photographic Institute and Pathshala, the South Asian Institute of Photography, considered one of the finest schools of photography in the world. Director of the Chobi Mela festival and chairman of Majority World agency, Alam’s work has been exhibited in galleries such as MOMA in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Royal Albert Hall in London and The Museum of Contemporary Arts in Tehran.
A guest curator of the National Art Gallery in Malaysia and the Brussels Biennale, Alam’s numerous photographic awards include the Mother Jones and the Andrea Frank Awards. He has been a jury member in prestigious international contests, including World Press Photo, which he chaired. An Honorary Fellow of the Bangladesh Photographic Society and the Royal Photographic Society Alam is a visiting professor of Sunderland University in the UK. He recently set up a media academy in Bangladesh.
Shahidul Alam was involved as a curator and an artist for the exhibition “Where Three Dreams Cross” which was shown at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, 21 January – 11 April 2010. His show “Crossfire” on extra judicial killings in Bangladesh was closed down by the government.