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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 116 | April 26, 2009|


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Digital Photography Workshop at IUB:
Lights, Camera, Shoot!

Photos and story by: Sabhanaz Rashid Diya

WHEN I interviewed Shahidul Alam from Drik last year, I remember he told me that Dhaka was the 3rd photographic capital of the world. How photographers from all parts of the world came to Dhaka to capture its contrasting dimensions of vibrant colours and unforgiving poverty. Ever since, Dhaka changed its face for me. It became more than crowded roads and over populated urban boxes. It sang a new song to me, and when I met Geoffrey Hiller a couple of months back, I was pretty sure it sang the same song to him.

Geoffrey Hiller is a Fulbright scholar currently teaching 'Interactive Media' at Independent University Bangladesh (IUB) in Baridhara. He's been in Dhaka for 9 months and recollects this period as one of the most exciting times of his life. He's also a photographer and multimedia producer from the United States, and recently conducted a Digital Photography Workshop for his students at IUB. The workshop was organized by the Department of Media and Communication at IUB under the coordination of Shams Quader, a lecturer from the same department. With a group of twenty enthusiastic students, the workshop lasted for 12 hours (3 hours per day) on 29th and 31st March, and 5th and 7th April respectively. The workshop aimed to teach students about digital photography theories and techniques, and give them a broader outlook on post processing and how to make photography presentations.

“At first I wasn't so sure how it was going to come together with so many different people,” confessed Hiller at the interview. “However, it soon became apparent that most of the participants were really enthusiastic about improving and experimenting with their photographic skills.”

Indeed, they were. As the workshop progressed and Hiller took the participants through the basics of light and composition, the students became more thrilled about experimenting with their cameras. As an instructor, Hiller encouraged the participants to have fun and experiment. Doing self-portraits or going out in the streets, every assignment seemed like a new adventure; and it was wonderful to see everyone was excited about it!

Hiller recalls the load shedding to be an obstacle during the workshop. “The power cut was a huge challenge but we all took it in a stride,” said Hiller. “Salmon Saeed helped out with his laptop and in the remaining hour on the day of the closing, I showed the students how to edit and sequence their photos, add audio and make a multimedia presentation of their work.”

The closing ceremony was held on 7th April at the IUB Library. The event was chaired by the Vice Chancellor of IUB, Professor Bazlul Mobin Chowdhury; and attended by Pro VC Professor Omar Rahman, Director of School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Professor Nazrul Islam, Head of Media and Communication Dr. G.M. Shahidul Alam and Registrar Dr. Tanvir Khan. The multimedia presentation made at the last hour gave the guests an overview of what the participants were doing through the 12 hours at the workshop, showcasing their photographs. Indeed, it was quite a spectacle! To imagine the kind of images shot in the space of only 12 hours was applaudable and the students' and their instructor, Hiller's dedication and hard work was reflected through their works.

The event was closed by handing out certificates to the participants of the workshop and light refreshments.

“Bangladesh has a tremendous photography community especially in terms of documentary work. For example, it has a much more active scene then India, a much larger country. While photographing Pohela Boishakh last week I was again struck by the amount of photojournalists covering the event,” said Hiller. “It goes without saying that Bangladeshis are Chobi fanatics. They are like the Brazilians. They love to be photographed.”

Geoffrey Hiller will be leaving Dhaka in May at the end of the ongoing semester. When I asked him whether he'll be coming back to Bangladesh, he smiled and replied,

“I would love to come back and lead a more advanced workshop for both Americans and Bangladeshi photographers. The urban environment can be quite harsh. Dhaka looks like a war zone. It's an ugly city but at the same time it's amazing that the city and its people function as well as it does. There is a strange kind of order to the chaos, for example people do follow routines and schedules. It's true that Bangladesh is a very poor country- one of the poorest I've ever been to but people here have a tremendous resilience. They aren't afraid to look you in the eyes and hold their gaze. This of course is a tremendous gift for a photographer interested in photographing people.”

The students and faculty at IUB would surely miss dear Geoffrey terribly. We look forward to his return and showing us more of this magic; but until that moment, let the new photographers who have just emerged from the workshop be an inspiration for other to change the way we view photography in Bangladesh today.

Visit www.hillerphoto.com for more information on Geoffrey Hiller and his work

(The writer is a student at the Department of Media and Communication at Independent University Bangladesh.)

A Visit to BOC

M.Taha Tareque

RECENTLY, the students of Human Resource (HR) department of Eastern University visited Bangladesh Oxygen Limited (BOC), to acquire knowledge about how HR department of the company functions.

Our tour was mainly divided into three phases. The first phase was the introduction between the students and the company management, followed by a tour around the factory. Later, we visited the corporate office of BOC.

During the factory visit we were very alert about our safety and health since BOC follows a policy known as SHEQ (Safety, Health, Environment and quality policy). We had to wear special shoes during the tour. The factory site was divided into restricted and general areas. Restricted areas contain Nitrous oxide, Co2 production and filling area, whereas general area consists of office, parking and many more. BOC mainly produces dissolved Acetylene production and a cylinder test shop, which is why strong safety precautions are being taken. During our visit, our main objective was to talk with the different managers and ask them questions related to HR. We asked many questions from job context, recruitment policy, to their compensation and strategic management and planning policy. We also asked about our future job market in HRM. All the questions were wonderfully answered by the senior managers, and hats off to them for giving us their valuable time to us. All the employees of BOC were evaluated by performance management system that is done on either bi-yearly or yearly basis. Regarding the organogram we were informed that it is a combination of wide and narrow span of management.

The tour gave us the opportunity to blend our academic knowledge with the industrial world. We are very grateful to our teachers who had taken the trouble of accompanying us in this tour and giving us sometime from their busy lives.

(The writer is a BBA student of Eastern University)

Science Fair @ Scholastica

THE Science Fair 2009 was held at Scholastica senior section Uttara on Saturday 18th April amid enthusiasm of young scientists displaying various innovative projects. Wasima Parveen, Deputy Chairperson, and Madiha Murshed, Head of Academics, were among the judges who assessed all the projects at the fair.

Some of the outstanding projects of the Science Fair were on heart disease and fermentation, the star chart and solar system, and double circulation. Students were looking for problems to local solutions as well, such as flooding, load shedding and global warming.

The Science Fair was a platform for students to develop both their research and creative skills and the event was greatly enjoyed by the students, parents and management of the school.

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