On February 3, 2017, the ninth edition of international photography festival Chobi Mela launches in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Since its inception in 2000, Chobi Mela has been the most significant photography event in Asia and the first of a regular biennale. The festival that lasts two weeks will feature over 30 exhibitions from works of artists spanning 16 countries, like Algeria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany and India.
In total the work of 27 artists will be showcased. Among the works shown will be Kanu’s Gandhi, historic photographs of Mahatma Gandhi by his grand-nephew, The Poet with The Camera by Bangladesh’s master portraitist Nasir Ali Mamun, and Open Wound the epic documentation of Chechen resistance by Stanley Greene.
This year’s festival theme is transition. All exhibitions and events have a connection with ‘transition’, but not only in terms of the photographic content, the festival also emphasizes transitions in the medium of photography itself, asking: how are we choosing and using the medium in modern times? What is the meaning of that choice nowadays and in what way is that changing?
To investigate the theme, Chobi Mela organised artist’s talks, panel discussions and curated slideshows organized around it, like the panel discussion ‘Challenges of working as a freelance photojournalist’ by Shahidul Alam, Tahmina Rahman and Mary O’ Sheahighlight, which will be interesting in particular for young and upcoming freelance photojournalists that are right the middle of this new photographic era.
Additionally, there will be many workshops by photo practitioners to provide participants with training and exposure. There will be a workshop by Anders Petersen who is known for his intimate and personal documentary-style black and white photographs, a bookmaking workshop by Markus Schaden and Frederic Lezmi and other events like presentations, gallery walks, slideshows and mobile exhibitions.
Chobi Mela festival takes place from the February 3-16, 2017, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The festival is free to the public. More information and the programme of exhibitions and events can be found at the website.