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Back in 2005~06, when I was just drooling on my baby-steps into the world of blogging and the internet, a contact of mine on Livejournal (a hip blogging site back then) posted a few photographs taken by a somewhat little known Bangladeshi photographer on the roof of a running locomotive ! The set of 5 or so photographs were hypnotic in their sheer level of energy, vibrance and quality of composition. Offcourse, back then, I had little or no idea about composition, character or IQ, but what is a delicatessen in one's eyes stays that way for eternity to come. These days, I consider myself a bit more mature in the judgment of quality photographs, and G.M.B Akash, the photographer who's works inspired me at the very beginning continues to amaze me in ways no other Bangladeshi photographer has. So when he opened his solo photography exhibition "Survivors" in Alliance Française I knew I just had to go check it out.

Survivors is a silky, radiant journey through the eyes of Mr Akash, documenting life and its hardship, sorrows, happiness, emotions, comradeship & strength in full color. Unlike the most traditional of documentary photographs, Akash's works are not entangled in the stereotypical web of dark, intangible Black and White frames. They are just the way I like it; thorough, colorful and expressive without the need to obscure underlying details with shadows and highlights. In the world of photography, "Black and White" is often overestimated, appreciated without realizing that reality is not in Black and White. Blood, flesh, mucus, sunrise, sunset, trees, flowers, humming birds, meteors, clothing, books, oppression, communism, Mc Donald, swine flue everything we see is in color. So why not depict it the way it is? Fortunately, there are still a few photographers left in this forsaken world like G.M.B Akash who realizes this and complies accordingly.

"Survivors" has on display a brilliant set of large ( sometimes even 30''x25''), elegantly framed, picturesque prints that will surely sway you on your feet. On one moment , you'll be taking "a stroll through the ship breaking yard in Pakistan", on the next you'll come face to face with the "
Vigilantes in Pink" ( God, this guy even knows how to really title his photographs) who took up arms to protect their sanctity from masochist husbands and local thugs. So go on, get lost in Akash's works, you won't regret it :)

Photo Credit: G.M.B Akash

If you are even mildly passionate about photography and are anywhere near Dhaka, be sure check out the exhibition taking place in the ground floor gallery of
Alliance Française from Aug 14-27th . Details of this exhibition are available on its facebook page. Take my words for it , "You better not miss out on this one".

Who is G.M.B Akash ?

Akash’s passion for photography began in 1996. He attended the World Press Photo seminar in Dhaka for 3 years and graduated with a BA in Photojournalism from Pathshala, Dhaka. He has received more than 35 international awards from all around the world and his work has been featured in over 50 major international publications including: Time, Sunday Times, Newsweek, Geo, Stern, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, Marie Claire,Colors, The Economist, The New Internationalist, Kontinente, Amnesty Journal, Courier International, PDN, Die Zeit, Days Japan, and Sunday Telegraph of London.

In 2002 he became the first Bangladeshi to be selected for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass in the Netherlands. In 2004 he received the Young Reporters Award from the Scope Photo Festival in Paris, again being the first Bangladeshi to receive the honour. In 2005 he was awarded Best of Show at the Center for Fine Art Photography’s international competition in Colorado, USA. In 2006 he was awarded World Press Photo award and released his first book “First Light”.

In 2007 again he became the first Bangladeshi to be selected for the 30 Emerging Photographers (PDN 30) by Photo District News Magazine, USA.

He won the 7th Vevey international photography grant from Switzerland in 2009

- Quoted from the personal website of G.M.B Akash.

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