Documentary photographer Shahidul Alam is largely unknown in the UK but in his native Bangladesh he’s credited with helping to introduce email to the country and providing the artistic inspiration to ensure there are now more documentary photographers in Bangladesh than any other country.
Add to that the recently founded Majority World photo agency which looks to only represent non western photographers in a bid to help them compete equally globally.
He has also founded the Bangladesh Photographic Institute, The South Asian Institute of Photography, and the biennial Chobi Mela international festival of photography. And he discovered penicillin; no, hold on, that one’s not true.
His first UK exhibition My Journey As a Witness opens tomorrow, a show of 40 photos marking 40 years of independence in his home country, which is introduced as a rich, candid chronicle.
This is a broad selection from thirty years work, taking in beautiful or brutal realities in any one photograph.
Most striking though are the landscapes, marked by moody skies and shafts of light which give any figures a context of divinity.
My Journey as a Witness runs from 6 October- 18 November at the Wilmotte Gallery, Lichfield Studios, 133 Oxford Gardens, London, W10
A book of the same name will launch simultaneously.