A photography workshop at Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) redefined photography widening its meaning from an art to a powerful tool for social change. The three day workshop organised by British Council and Drik India had Shahidul Alam, the eminent photographer and social activist from Bangladesh educating budding photographers of the city on the fine nuances of photography. The documentary photography workshop titled Photography for social impact — To know, one must imagine was part of British Council’s Active Citizens programme. The workshop was about the right techniques to use camera as a tool for telling a story to create a social impact.
On the first day of the workshop participants were given an introduction to social documentary photography and its impact. It helped participants to interpret and create photographs that would stand out from the crowd and question the objectives of one’s perception and participation in the world we live in. The second day saw the review of the participants’ photographs as they learnt the art of editing and presentation.
The concluding day witnessed the release of Shahidul Alam’s book, My Journey as a Witness, in the presence of ace photographer Nemai Ghosh. With the extensive launch session of his book, Alam took us through different pages of his life with the help of photographs. Each picture had an extraordinary story to tell. The stories changed his life at every point and gave momentum to his motto to bring a change in the society. He had been a witness but not a silent one to the changing social and political landscapes of Bangladesh. His photographs also narrated the grim tales of Kashmir and Sri Lanka.
Alam discussed the power of documenting photography and urged the participants and his audience to use it in the right spirit.
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