Archive for October, 2011

Paris 1961

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

The French authorities denied it happened, but in Paris on 17 October 1961 police attacked many thousands of Algerians who were protesting across the city against the war in Algeria and in particular a curfew that had been imposed on the community, killing an unknown number of them – possibly as many as 300, but at least 50, and wounding many more. Many were beaten to death and their bodies thrown into the Seine. More than 11,000 others were arrested and bussed to three makeshift camps around the city, held for days without food and subjected to beatings. Many Algerians were deported back to Algeria.

The crackdown was ordered by Paris police chief Maurice Papon and later in the year President de Gaulle awarded him the Légion d’Honneur. Officially there were only three deaths and 64 wounded. The events were only accurately reported at the time in a few militant left
publications, though some details emerged in a National Assembly debate
at the end of the month. It was only around 37 years later that the
full truth of the events really emerged.

You can read much more about it in Le Monde, where you can see a set of photographs by Henri Georges, then a photographer for ‘Liberation‘, now published for the first time. There are also a number of other links to features.

We now live in very different times, with so many people photographing events and then – at least in countries like ours – tweeting and posting about what is happening. But we still see the way that the newspapers, radio and TV are too ready to accept the often misleading and sometimes entirely fabricated stories put out by police and other official sources. There was a reminder of this in yesterday’s parliamentary debate on the Hillsborough disaster, as well as a reminder of what happened over the death of Ian Tomlinson. And so many other stories, particularly those involving police violence and deaths in custody.

If you want to know what is happening on our streets, you need to be on them, and not rely on what you read in the papers or see on TV. If you can’t be there, then, unreliable as many tweets and other citizen journalism reports are, taken as a whole and together with the reports in the commercial media they are more likely to give you a true picture. If Twitter had been around in 1961 it would not have been possible to brush several hundred corpses under the carpet.

Kazuo Kitai

Monday, October 17th, 2011

I’ve come across several mentions recently of a Japanese photographer whose work I was previously unfamiliar with (he wan’t included in ‘Japanese Photography Today and Its Origin’ which I saw at the ICA in 1979), and who I’m sure we will get to know rather better.

Kazuo Kitai was born in 1944 in Manchuria (or China – depending on who you believe), graduated in Art in Tokyo in 1965 and became well-known in Japan in the 1970s, and in 1975 was the first winner of the major Kimura Ihee prize. As well as photographing in Japan, he returned to China to photograph in the 1970s (shown last year at the Zen Gallery in Tokyo) and also visited Spain in 1977, taking colour pictures that have recently been published in the book Spanish Nights.

He has exhibited with Eikoh Hosoe, Daido Moriyama, Shomei Tomatsu, Masahisa Fukase, Shoji Ueda and Nobuyoshi Araki among Japanese names better known to me. Since 2005 he has photographed a monthly photo-essay for the magazine ‘Nippon Camera’ and some of these have now been published in two books, “Walking with Leica – 1” and “Walking with Leica-2”, and there are also other books of his work available from Tosei, where Kitai has a show scheduled for Jan 2012.

Book collectors might be advised to stock up on his work, particularly some of the earlier of his 15 or so publications, as I’m sure prices will rise given the attention he is currently getting.

Photomonth Continues

Friday, October 14th, 2011

The East London Photomonth is now in full swing, but some of the shows are fairly short lived and easy to miss. So the Photomonth Photolounge (4 Wilkes St) is only on until Sunday 16th October (I dropped in briefly to the opening on Tuesday.)  Some other shows have closed already, while others have only just opened and some don’t open until later. Although it is called a month it really spreads out over a couple of months.

You can find all the details on the Photomonth 2011 web site, though I do wish that it was rather easier to find which shows are open on any particular date. Of course with 104 venues it isn’t an easy job, but one a suitable database should be able to cope with. Or even a downloadable spreadsheet calendar file would be useful.

I don’t think the site has a list of the photographers taking part either, though you can search for them by opening the full listing and using the browser’s search facility.

I’ve seen very little about the festival either online or in print, but was very pleased to see a review on London24 by photographer Julio Etchart, not least because he had some nice things to say about my work on show as a part of East of the City along with pictures by Paul Baldesare and Mike Seaborne. (Incidentally changed circumstances mean that we have to take this show down on the afternoon of 28 October, slightly earlier than the advertised date.)

We have to wait until next month to see Etchart’s own contribution to Photomonth, on show at Open The Gate in Dalston next month, following the current Photomonth show there, Mother Africa by Pierre Vannoni.

Notting Hill

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

I went to Notting Hill last week, and it was for me a notable event in several ways. I don’t often go that way except for my annual trips to carnival at the end of August, but I was there for the opening of a show at a gallery I’ve not visited before, one of a series of shows jointly organised by Tristan Hoare and Jean-Michel Wilmotte in the Wilmotte Gallery, in the former garage which became Lichfield studios (at 133 Oxford Gardens, London W10 6NE) and has now been converted into offices and an exhibition space by architect, designer and urban planner Wilmotte.

I was attending Shahidul Alam‘s first solo retrospective in the UK, ‘My Journey as Witness‘ which runs until 18 November 2011. It was a memorable evening, although I was not able to stay as long as I would have liked, but was able to talk to both Alam and the Rosa Mario Falvo, the editor of his fine book, also called ‘My Journey as Witness.

I opened my copy this morning when I had a few minutes to spare while files were uploading and around an hour later I was still reading it. It is a work that is important not just for the photography but also for what it bears witness to about relationships between the majority world and the wealthy nations and and perhaps in particular about NGOs.

Back to lighter things, in August I was in Notting Hill and here are a few pictures to prove it:

© 2011 Peter Marshall

Someone yesterday told me they had never been to carnival and described it as a monocultural event. Which perhaps just proves they have never been there or at least not in the last 20 or so years.

© 2011 Peter Marshall

Part of its interest for me is in it being an event that very much now reflects the multicultural nature of London.

Plenty more (perhaps too many) pictures on My London Diary.

© 2011 Peter Marshall

I’ve posted the work as two sets of pictures, one taken on the Fuji X100 and the other on the Nikon D300 DSLR as I was interested in seeing if I worked differently with the two cameras. In general I don’t really think so.

© 2011 Peter Marshall


Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Dust is in various ways a problem for photographers. Back in the old darkroom days cleaning negatives well could save hours of work spotting your black and white prints, and if you had dust on the film in the camera it would give black spots that were even tricker to remove. Sometimes it was possible to bleach them out on the wet print, or you could physically remove them with a scalpel from the finished print, and both were pretty tricky.

Dust is a problem when scanning negatives and slides too, and glassless carriers which took away much of the problem in the darkroom don’t seem to be made as well for scanners as for the best enlargers.  You soon get into a routine of using a ‘Rocket’ or other powerful air blower on every surface before each scan. But the good thing about scanning is that it becomes relatively easy to retouch the scans and remove black and white spots as well as scratches etc.

Digital images, at least those from cameras with interchangeable lenses, tend to suffer from dust too.  I give the rear of all my lenses and the mirror chamber a good blast with the Rocket at least once a week before going out to take pictures, and then lock up the mirror to give the sensor the Rocket treatment.

Having replaced the lens I turn the camera off to bring the mirror down, then on again so I can finally use the camera’s built-in dust removal. It is perhaps more a ritual than effective cleaning, but it does appear to keep problems at a minimum.

Even so, there does tend to be a build-up of dirt on the sensor, although it fortunately is seldom very noticeable in the images. It usually only shows up badly in even areas such as skies, and Lightroom or other software has the tools to make short work of it.

Dust did seem to be much more of a problem with earlier DSLRs. I remember having to swab off my sensor perhaps monthly with the D100 and D70, while I can’t remember ever having done it with the D700.

But what brings dust to my mind today is not cameras but computers. I switched my main machine on late on Tuesday, but it wouldn’t start. Today the computer engineer told me that dust had been the problem, as he took the box away for a motherboard replacement and general sprucing up.

It is around five years old, so time for something new, and I already have a high-spec replacement machine on order, intending to keep this as a backup. But it is a very considerable inconvenience having to re-install software and after I get the new sytems I’ll have days of work to get back to normal running.   Fortunately most of my important files are backed up, and I hope I will lose very little.

I could have saved much of this by regular dust removal from inside my computer, opening the case and carefully cleaning out the dust from it. The large fan over the processor had become clogged up with dust, though it was still spinning around it was no longer doing it’s job at cooling the processor.

One of the things that I’m currently without is my diary, but once I get computers back to normal, one thing I’ll be sure to add – and with an annoying reminder to make sure I notice it – is a task that recurs every six months, to dust my computer.

I’m typing this on a notebook computer with little or no dust problem so far as I’m aware, though a slightly cramped and unresposive keyboard. I’d hoped to get back to more regular posting this week both here and on My London Diary after a very busy time over the past few months, but my dust problems have put paid to that for the moment.

Closer To Ideal?

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Eleven years ago in another place, I wrote an article ‘Digital Wishes‘ when I looked forward to what the camera of the future might be. I wanted something that was small, light, responsive and flexible (and with a decently extreme wide-angle) and had a few suggestions, including:

For a digital camera system, the obvious first step is to remove the mirror and pentaprism, replacing them by a digital viewfinder system,”

It was certainly the most contentious article I’ve ever written, and e-mail after e-mail came in and there were long and at times rather bitter arguments on an online forum I belonged to, with many posters telling me exactly why the laws of physics said that some of the things that I suggested just were not possible.

Most of them have I think been implemented now, though sometimes a little differently from how I envisaged them, and there are many more features I hadn’t thought of (or didn’t and still don’t want) in some of the newer cameras, but I’m still waiting for my perfect camera, or even one good enough to tempt me away from the heavy DSLR outfit that has been weighing down my left shoulder for years. (I had to give up on my right side thirty years back.)

Looking at the ‘first impressions’ on the web of the Sony NEX-7 announced in August it looks as if we may have the first truly usable digital viewfinder (it’s also in another Sony) for still cameras (although some others such as the Fuji X100 are close.) And although the NEX-7 seems slightly ugly it does appear to manage to get an awful lot in a rather diminutive body.

I’m not a great fan of Sony, but they do seem to have tried in the NEX-7 to produce a camera that has taken a new look at what photographers want and tried to provide it rather than produce cameras that look very much like classics but don’t really provide the features we want (and I include the Fuji FX100 in this, much as I like it.)

It’s a shame that Nikon seem to have put so much effort into a new format camera that can’t quite give the quality we need and that Fuji’s second attempt suffers from an even worse small format problem. If it really performs as well as the early views suggest, the NEX-7 might just mean we can take some strain off our shoulders, though there are one or two disappointing aspects.

One for me is the over-large file size at 24Mp, and another is the lack so far of any real wide-angle. The widest lens is a 16mm (24 mm equiv) and there are 0.75 and fisheye converters but although I’ve seen sample pictures on a Japanese site I’ve so far found no really detailed reviews, though this user review by ‘TRA’ on Amazon is encouraging.  But what I’d really like is a good zoom that gets down to perhaps 11 or 12mm at the wide end, rather than having to fiddle adding a converter for the wide pictures. I could live with having to do this for a fisheye, as that’s a little more specialised.

There are really very few occasions when I’ve felt any need for more than the 12 megapixels that my current cameras provide, though I have used some very much large files. Doubling the number of sites on a chip is unlikely to provide any real advantage and is likely to result in higher noise levels as well as larger files. I’ve a 40×30″ print from a 12Mp file (corrected somewhat from a fisheye view and actually probably only using rather less than 9 of those 12 Mp) in my ‘Secret Gardens’ show at the moment, and elsewhere there is a 2.3 metre wide image in a public exhibition which was made from a 6Mp image taken on a Nikon D100.

We are bound to read some glowing articles on the new Nikon 1 system shortly, with journalists from the major magazines being treated to trips out to Japan and lavish hospitality. Of course it won’t affect their objectivity:-)  Nor of course will Nikon’s huge advertising spend that they depend on to keep in business.  But the Nikon 1 has a sensor less than 1/3 of the area of the Sony, and that is just too big a hill to climb. So get ready with the salt for when the guys report from their expenses-paid trips. It used to sometimes annoy me when I wasn’t allowed to accept such offers when I wrote professionally, but I can see why we had a strict code of professional ethics.  It is perhaps surprising that such codes apparently don’t apply elsewhere.

The Nikon 1 will almost certainly be a good camera as compact cameras go – and probably more than a match for the recently announced Fuji X10, which has an even smaller sensor, about half the size of the Nikon 1. But it isn’t going to be batting in the same league as cameras like the NEX-7.

Which Clichés Have I Made Today?

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Well, actually none yet, as I’m just about to rush out and take them, but I really love this rant by M.F. Agha published in 1937 in US Camera, the Hippocratic Oath of a Photographer, republished on the Monsters and Madonnas blog of the  International Center of Photography Library.

Of course it needs a little bringing up to date, though I think I’ve taken a few candid pictures of fat ladies, finding those Marlene Dietrich posters is a little tricky, though some – such as the Mexican child – are still rather too common.

But suggestions as to updates are welcome!

Opening Night

Friday, October 7th, 2011

© 2011, Peter Marshall
Towards the end of the evening when most people had left it was truly an elite gathering

Magical. It was for me at any rate, though adrenaline and alcohol are always a heady mix. Although our opening last night at the Shoreditch Gallery/The Juggler was never particularly crowded, there was a steady stream of people coming to see the show and pay their respects before moving on to one of the many other openings. First Thursdays are often busy, but this one especially so, as it was also the first Thursday of the UK’s largest photo festival, the East London Photomonth.

I’d had several apologies from photographers who were out of the country – and had to send my own to several who were at their own openings elsewhere across London. But among those who came to the opening were a good cross-section of the better photographers of the capital, as well as other friends who we were also pleased to see.

Even after we’d left the gallery – well after the agreed closing time – and a small group of us were talking outside, another dozen people turned up to look at the work.

As well as the 12 pictures I had on show, I’d also taken along the book ‘Before The Olympics‘ (and some others) with another 250 or so pictures from the Lea Valley. As several people pointed out to me, the reproductions of the pictures on the wall in that volume were considerably less subtle and less rich than the prints on the wall. Although Blurb, especially using the more expensive premium paper, does a reasonable job, it can’t match either a good darkroom print or a good inkjet print.

The prints I had on the wall were all made using Epson Ultrachrome K3 inks on Ilford Gallerie Gold Fibre Silk, and it is a very good combination. I’ve experimented with printing from the R2400 using just the three black inks in the K3 set (photo (gloss) black, light black and light black) which you can do using the Bauhaus Rip (or presumably with the Quadtone Rip) and although the results are good in terms of tonality, the prints have a slightly unhealthy looking greenish black in daylight. The best results I’ve acheived with this ink/paper combination come from using Epson’s own ABW (advanced black and white) mode, which allows you to alter the print colour and uses a small amount of the colour inks along with the three blacks.

I’d printed the set using the same print colour settings, and under daylight they were a pretty good match, but in the gallery lighting there were some noticeable differences in tone. I suspect this comes from different light bulbs (or perhaps just different ageing of bulbs) used in the display lighting. Some had a slight magenta to the black which fellow exhibitor Mike Seaborne tells me is normal for the Epson inks under tungsten lighting, while others were if anything more neutral than in daylight. I didn’t find the differences a problem, although Mike prefers to use HP printers as he says their inks exhibit little or no metamerism.

Back in the 1980s I printed these pictures – and all my best work on Agfa papers, mainly Agfa Record Rapid, which had something of a cult status among photographers (and which the late Peter Goldfield set up a company, Goldfinger,  with premises above his Muswell Hill pharmacy to import) and occasionally the rather warmer Portriga Rapid. But Record Rapid (and its Portriga cousin) had to change its formulation to cut out the cadmium in the nineties, and the new version was simply not the same. I moved to using Ilford papers, which were fine, but no match. Probably the next prints that I was truly happy with were on matte papers such as Hahnemuhle German Etching and Photorag using Piezotone inks from Jon Cone. They weren’t Record Rapid but had a rather different quality of their own.  Now with newer semi-gloss papers – such as the Ilford Gold Fibre – I can get prints which, with the advantage of the precise control offered by working with scanned digital files, are usually even better than those from the old days. Though RR could have a depth and a pearly opalescence that was only ever surpassed in the very best (and rather rare) examples of carbon printing.

The night also brought home again one of the small design faults of the Fujifilm FX100, the rather light detent on the exposure compensation dial, which is also perhaps a little too conveniently placed at the back right corner of the top plate. With a fewer glasses of Merlot I would certainly have realised that I was working at +2 stops and avoided the overexposure that ruined most of the images. And +2 stops when working at full aperture makes for long shutter speeds, so pictures were blurred as well as overexposed. But I hadn’t gone there to take pictures and wasn’t giving it my usual attention, so there are rather fewer images in this post than I would have hoped.

Final Reminder – East of the City

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

© 2011, Paul Baldesare
Columbia Market – Paul Baldesare

Tonight, Thurday 6 October at 6-8 pm at The Shoreditch Gallery is the opening of our show ‘East of the City‘ which if you can’t make it tonight continues in the gallery at ‘The Juggler’ until 29th Oct 2011. It’s a short walk from Old Street tube, just off Pitfield St, though I’ll take a bus.

My book ‘Before the Olympics‘ will be available at the opening – saving the excessive delivery costs normally involved. It has all12 of my pictures in the show, along with around 250 others, though not all from what is now the Olympic site.

Marshgate Lane, Stratford Marsh, 1990.

From the Lions Point Of View

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Isn’t it a thrill to have him here in London” said the woman behind me to a friend as we we all waited, hardly an empty seat in the small lecture area of National Geographics’s Regent St first floor, and the next hour or so listening to Shahidul Alam talking, showing pictures and answering questions certainly justified her anticipation.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

Probably most of us in the audience had some idea of the incredible transformation Dr Alam has made to the world of photography, not just in his native Bangladesh but worldwide, although so much still remains to be done, but I think all of us found there was even more to him – and his family – than we had been previously aware.

Alam’s mother in particular was a formidable woman; determined to get a university education despite the opposition of her mother to the education of women, she left home every morning in a burkha “going to visit friends” and went to study. Armed with her degree she dedicated herself to the education of women, and having found little backing for her project, bought a tent and used it to set up her own school for girls.

Later too we heard that his father had dared to evade the “invitation” sent to him along with the other leading intellectuals of the country to take tea with the occupying Pakistani generals in 1971 just a few days before the end of the war. It was a story accompanied by a picture by Rashid Talukdar of a severed head in rubble, from the killing fields of Rayerbazar. Altogether more than a thousand teachers, journalists, doctors, lawyers, artists, writers and engineers were massacred.

Shahidul Alam was sent to study chemistry in the UK in 1972, gaining his Ph.D in London, and taught the subject while at the same time developing an interest in photography, at first making camera club style pretty pictures. But then he came across photographs that were harder to understand and seemed to have more depth – such as Steichen’s ‘Heavy Roses’, said to be the last picture he took in France in 1914, sumptuous but slowly decaying and fading as the Great War started – and began learning to see and to work at finding out what was interesting about such less obvious pictures. While living in Kingsbury in Northwest London he photographed people in his locality and took them to the local paper, who published them as a spread on the back page and paid him a tenner for them (a local paper paying – how times change!) – his first professional work.

He had (and still has)  a particular love of photographing children, and having seen that a child portraiture studio – Young Rascals Studio in Acton – wanted photographers he went for an interview and got the job, and was soon the most successful of their photographers, earning around £350 a week, a pretty good wage at the time.

After a while, although he was doing well financially he decided that what he was doing was not something he wanted to devote his life to, and he made up his mind to return to Dhaka with his savings of £2800, and go back and live with his parents and try and become a photographer and take part in the life of his own country . It wasn’t easy to find any employment there, so he set up his own business as a photographer as well as starting to teach photography and work with communities.

Alam was at pains to point out that he had no problem with white western  photographers coming to photograph in his country, but that he felt that photographers from countries in the majority world had an understanding of their own communities that provided them with a different viewpoint. He wanted a pluralistic world in which different people got to tell stories, but was against the kind of monopolistic view that media around the world tended to project of countries like his own. This was brought home strongly to him while on a visit to Northern Ireland when a five-year-old showed her surprise at seeing him playing with a few coins. Even at that age she knew that people from Bangladesh didn’t have any money.

Increasingly too he began to question his own position in his own society, as a middle class man with a camera – and characteristically began to do something practical about it. In 1994 he set up a women’s’ photography group, bringing a woman to the country to teach them, and he also began teaching photography to classes of working class children.  He then set up the Pathshala school of Photography, now recognised as a world-leading school for photojournalism, with its students and ex-students gaining exceptional success in international competitions. It is also possibly unique in that all of those finishing the course have found work as photographers, though Alam did say that the market for photographers in Bangladesh was now becoming saturated and he was having to think about encouraging some students to work in ancillary professions such as picture editing and picture research.

It was great to see in his photographs and a short film clip how photography was being taken to the people in Bangladesh, with mobile exhibitions mounted on bullock carts and cycle carts being taken into villages, and also the work with village children. Alam also founded and directs the Chobi Mela international festival of photography held in Dhaka every two years which he set up is the largest photography festival in Asia and takes photography out on the streets (and on a boat) with a very different atmosphere to most festivals.

Through his photographic agency Drik, (now part of a wider multimedia organisation) set up in 1989, Alam has worked hard to change the way that rich world publications deal with events in Bangladesh and the majority world generally, although not always yet with great success. From 1983 the political events in his country turned him to documenting the political movement against the military rule of General Ershad which lasted, with minor changes until 1991. During the later years of that period there was increasing disorder and a ban on reporting pro-democracy activities – which newspapers responded to by ceasing publication. During this time Alam kept sending out pictures of the political events to news organisations around the world – who ignored them , as to them it wasn’t news. The only time the world press took any interest in Bangladesh was at times of natural disasters  – cyclones and floods. (Presumably, though he didn’t say so, this became news because of the pressure from the major aid agencies, who avoid involvement in ‘political’ issues.)

Alam’s talk was entitled ‘When the lions find their storytellers‘, from the widespread African proverb “Until the lion has his own storyteller, the hunter will always have the best side of the story.” Whoever does not have a voice is almost always going to be the loser. His life’s work has been trying to tell the lions’ story and to teach the lions so they can tell their own story.

Drik Picture Agency has played an important part in this, and more recently has set up ‘Majority World‘, a platform set up to allow “indigenous photographers, photographic agencies and image collections from the majority world to gain fair access to global image markets” and to present image buyers with “the the wealth of fresh imagery and photographic talent emerging from the Majority World.”

© 2011, Peter Marshall

He ended his talk with a little about two of his heroes, and the final image was what is now perhaps his best-known photograph, possibly the last official portrait of Nelson Mandela. As always, Alam had a story to tell, of how he was held up travelling from Mexico to take it and thought he had missed his chance to take the picture, but hearing about his transport problem, Mandela actually rescheduled the sitting for two days later. The picture seemed to be a suitable backdrop against which to take his picture and I got out my Fuji X100 and took a few frames from my third row seat, some of which needed rather drastic cropping.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

Questions at the end of the talk brought out some other vast aspects of his work that he had not included, including the work he and his fellow photographers have undertaken over the years on the vast environmental problems of his country, much of which is likely to disappear as global warming leads to sea level rise.

One questioner brought up the problem of the relationship between documentary and art photography, and of how Alam has managed to work so effectively across both spheres. It was during his answer that he removed the pair of ordinary inexpensive sandals he was as always wearing and held them up into the light, saying put them in a gallery with the right display and lighting and they would sell as a work of art for thirty or forty thousand pounds (I did think he might have to change his name to Tracey Emin as well) before putting them back on his feet and saying these are now just sandals again. It was only a part of his response, but like much of his talk, one that promoted thought. He also talked about the Crossfire project on extra-judicial killings in Bangladesh which rather than attempting to look at these by documentary photographs of events he made large format colour images of the places where the killings had taken place, exhibiting them together with the facts about the events in what he called “A quiet metaphor for the screaming truth” – and which was closed and barricaded by armed police – but as I also mentioned here was opened in the road outside the gallery.

It was a talk that was full of hope and inspiration, but one that also left me with something of a feeling of despair for the situation of photography in my own country. In Bangladesh things seem much starker and the struggles and possibilities more obvious. Here photography often seems strangled, choked by the money and prejudices of the art world, distorted by academia. We’ve seen the abandonment of our major documentary resource, Side Gallery, by the Arts Council and the continued side-lining of our most democratic photography festival, the East London Photomonth, by the photographic establishment.

Shahidul Alam’s first solo retrospective in the UK,  ‘My Journey as Witness‘ opens at Tristan Hoare’s gallery in the Wilmotte Gallery at Lichfield Studios, 133 Oxford Gardens, London W10 6NE on 6th October, and runs until 18 November 2011, with a  book of the same title being launched the in the UK on October 10 by Skira, Milan. Copies are actually already on sale and I took a short look at it at the National Geographic Store. It is certainly a tribute to Alam that the first volume in what Skira intend to be a multi-volume series on the arts of Bangladesh is devoted to him and to photography. The book has an introduction by Sebastião Salgado and preface by Raghu Rai.

Also here on >Re:PHOTO you can read about two earlier exhibitions curated by Alam, in  ‘Bangladesh 1971‘ at Autograph and ‘Where Three Dreams Cross’ at the Whitechapel Gallery in 2010. Writing about World Photography Day earlier this year (a piece prompted by a post on Shahidul News) I concluded:

Photography may have started in France (and England) and perhaps came of age in the twentieth century in Europe and the USA. But now much of the more interesting work is happening elsewhere.

It seems a good way to end this over-long piece too.