Ismail Ferdous: A passionate photojournalist
Last Friday’s wintry afternoon saw a large audience cosy up for an insightful discussion with Ismail Ferdous at the Imagine Productions headquarters in Niketan. With numerous accolades to his name, Ismail Ferdous is a Bangladeshi documentary photographer at National Geographic, who currently resides in New York.
Aspiring photojournalists and photography enthusiasts alike gathered at the venue to engage in conversations about the skills of photography, as well as the social and humanitarian issues Ismail Ferdous is known to cover in his works. Hosted by Imagine Studio’s Sakib Pratyay and Gayatree Arun, the talk began with a background on the artist himself and his journey from photography being a hobby in his late teens, to him being a member of the elite photography club, The Photo Society by the National Geographic photographers.
With a reference to Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall, he recalled an initial lack of inner fulfillment in his years of undergraduate education in business administration, and a subsequent development of inspiration as he began exploring exhibitions of famous photographers here in Dhaka. The discussion continued on his experience with societal pressure and lack of support, and some of the earlier projects he became known for, such as vividly capturing the aftermaths of cyclone Sidr and the disasters of Rana Plaza.
Aside from photography itself, the discussion ranged from topics on Ismail Ferdous’ experience with challenges of earning a living through photojournalism and maintaining ethics, professionalism in Bangladesh as opposed to other countries, his time in Syria and the Rohingya refugee camps. The event concluded with a display of some of the artiste’s best captures and a Q&A session with the audience. The talk was streamed live on Facebook.
Currently a judge at the Alexia Foundation Awards, Ismail Ferdous hopes to return to Dhaka soon and take part in such seminars again.