Drik turns 23
Photography agency and gallery Drik turned 23. With a daylong programme at its premises in Dhanmondi, Dhaka on September 4, the gallery celebrated the occasion. Visual artist Wakilur Rahman delivered a memorial lecture, named after one of the pioneering photographers Golam Kasem Daddy, while National Geographic Fellow and photographer Reza Deghati spoke as the guest of honour.
Shahidul Alam, director of Drik, delivered the welcome speech. “We have exhibited the best works of world renowned photographers from across the globe at our gallery with the aim of bringing about a change in society through an understanding of photography. Yet we regard our achievements as miniscule since people still have to understand the importance of photography as a medium of arts,” said Alam.
Artist Wakilur Rahman delivered the memorial lecture on the topic “Curating contemporary art and art practice in Bangladesh”. Articulating the history, growing necessity and possibility of curating in our country, Rahman said, “Organised curating can dominate a visitor's perception regarding a particular exhibition and can arouse his/her interest in an artwork.” Rahman pointed out that not too many galleries are practicing this concept in our country but said that its necessity is increasing day by day in other countries.
He used images of his own works as references that projected on a screen during the lecture.
Reza Deghati was the man of the evening. He shared his experiences gleaned over a three-decade-long career, and told the audience why he chose this particular sphere of arts as his profession.
“It was during the pre-Revolutionary Iran, when I was captured by the secret police for photographing the country's poverty. After I got free, I shared my passion for photography with my parents who said 'If you love it then go for it',” said Reza, whose best works include the National Geographic series “Frontline Diaries”.
Reza was the creative director for the National Geographic's most viewed documentary “Inside Mecca”, and portrayed political personalities such as the former PLO leader Yasser Arafat, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and the charismatic Afghan rebel Ahmad Shah Massoud.
As part of the celebration, an exhibition titled “Insider, Outsider?” began at the gallery. The exhibition features photographs that challenge perceptions of the developing world. Representatives of Drik's recent initiative Rural Visual Journalism Network (RVJN) shared their impressions gathered from the workplace.
Featuring rare collections from the archive, few reprints are on display for sale as well. These reprints include works by former students of Drik's educational wing Pathshala.
The exhibition will continue everyday till September 12 from 3 to 8pm.