Founder of Chobi Mela, Shahidul Alam, clarified the stance of this festival in opposition to the censorship of artistes around the country and in support of free speech for all
Organized by Drik Picture Library Ltd and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, Asia’s first and largest international festival of photography, Chobi Mela’s latest edition, titled Shunno, is set to start tomorrow, on February 12, at 4pm.
The announcement came from a press conference, held at DrikPath building. Presided by festival director Tanzim Wahab, the conference was attended by photographer and Founder of Chobi Mela, Shahidul Alam, Curator Sarker Protick, festival managing director ASM Rezaur Rahman and other cultural figures.
The festival will run every day from 11am to 8pm, till February 21.
During a brief speech, Shahidul Alam recollected his experience with arranging Chobi Mela, one of the most significant photographic events in Asia, since its inception in 2000. He reiterated the stance of this festival in opposition to the censorship of artistes around the country, and in support of free speech for all.
Festival director Wahab explained the rationale behind naming this year’s edition – Shunno.
“We wanted to shed a light on the relevance of photography and the significance of a festival like this, at a time when the world has been brought to a standstill by the coronavirus. To an extent, we also wanted to explore the necessity of a festival like ours, if there is any in the first place. We are taking a moment to reflect, to question our own purpose. This festival is also a way of preparing ourselves for what it is yet to come.”
The exhibition will be held in eight categories, featuring 75 photographers from 5 countries.
“For this edition, the festival plans to reinvent itself in the post Covid environment by engaging more digital content and multidisciplinary practices, integrating the physical with digital, and inviting the overlap of the spaces in-between,” reads the festival description on Chobi Mela’s website.