Over four decades, Alam has made an important contribution to the field photojournalism both in Bangladesh and further afield. His photographs have been published in several major media outlets, including The New York Times, Time Magazine and National Geographic. He has trained and inspired hundreds of photographers through his institutions, the Drik Picture Library and the South Asian Institute of Photography, and inspired many more. The Chobi Mela International Photography Festival, organised by Alam, has made Dhaka a hub for international photography. The first festival in 2000 was widely praised for its wide-ranging examination of Bangladesh’s Liberation War and its genocide.
For his extraordinary talent as a photographer, he received the Harvey Harris Trophy in 1983, the Mother Jones International Documentary Photography award in 1993, Andrea Frank Foundation and Howard Chapnick Awards in 1998, Shilpakala Padak in 2014, Lifetime Achievement Award in 7th Dali International Photo Exhibition in China in 2017, and the Lucie Foundation Humanitarian Award this year.
Alam has borne witness to injustice with courage and vision and shared his knowledge with generosity and commitment. He has stood up for freedom, fairness and our common humanity. He is vital to Bangladesh and to all of us. He must be released immediately to continue his vital work as a voice for the powerless.
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