A mass exhibition of Alam Shahidul’s work in support of the campaign to free him #FreeShahidulAlam

As you will be aware, Dr Shahidul Alam was arrested, tortured and imprisoned in Dhaka Bangladesh at the beginning of August. Shahidul is an internationally respected photographer, journalist and activist and a good friend and colleague to many of us working in the photography and the academic worlds here in the UK.

University of Sunderland, where Shahidul has been a visiting professor for many years, and Autograph ABP would like to propose a mass exhibition of Shahidul’s work in support of the campaign to free him (#FreeShahidulAlam).

Shahidul has been a significant force both in photography and in photographic education and we feel it is essential that we raise our voice in support of him. On 28th October Shahidul is due to be awarded the Lucie Award at Carnegie Hall, New York.

We invite as many organisations as possible to participate in a UK-wide exhibition (8th – 28th October 2018), in solidarity with the works currently being shown at Drik (the multimedia agency which Shahidul established in Dhaka), under the exhibition title ‘A Struggle for Democracy’.

The ambition is for every participating institution to show a minimum of 1 image by Shahidul alongside an information panel. This will provide context and a call to action for the public, urging them to add their voice to the online #FreeShahidualAlam campaign and Amnesty International’s appeal for his release.

These can be ‘exhibited’ in a number of ways– they could be projected, on a screen or printed within buildings (foyers, entrances, social spaces, exhibition space) or could be exhibited externally in public-facing spaces with high foot-fall. All files will be provided for local printing/presentation.

For academic institutions this is a crucial moment to raise awareness with new and returning students who we hope would add their voices to the campaign in solidarity with Shahidul and the student community of Bangladesh which he was defending the rights of. For photographic and cultural institutions, this is the opportunity to add to the international clamour for the release of Shahidul and defend freedom of expression.

A press release will be shared with all those taking part which will be distributed nationally and internationally and we seek to draw on your connections and support with this.

Please confirm your participation in the UK wide exhibition! 

How it works 

Email: nepn@sunderland.ac.ukto request files

  1. Select an image (or more depending on your capacity) from the image files and download

Download the corresponding information panel text.

 Print or digitally project or screen both image and text file in your space, reception, public/social place to coincide with the exhibition timeframe

 Document interactions and any event you wish to programme.

 Share images using the #FreeShahidulAlam on social media.

 And please share this with other colleagues who might want to be involved.