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Exhibition supports jailed Bangladeshi photographer

A FORMER lecturer is returning to the University of Salford to open an exhibition in support of his friend, the jailed Bangladeshi photographer Shahidul Alam.

Dr Jacques Rangasamy MBE is coming to the University’s New Adelphi building on Monday October 22 to open the exhibition of work by the incarcerated photographer and social justice campaigner.

The work will be displayed in the building’s Window Gallery where it can be seen by visitors to the Peel Park campus.

Dr Rangasamy, who led University’s BA (hons) Visual Arts course before his retirement, was awarded an honour for his work educating people about art and culture from across the globe – reaching hundreds of thousands of people worldwide as the founding chair of Shisha, the international agency for South Asian crafts and visual arts.

He had previously giving an interview to Al Jazeera about the current wave of student protests against unsafe roads in the country, which he said stemmed from anger about widespread government corruption.

Amnesty International has taken up the photographer’s plight, describing his arrest as ‘a gross human rights abuse’, and universities and art galleries across the UK are holding exhibitions to show their support, organised by the North East Photography Network.

Shahidul, whose photography has been exhibited around the world, is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photography Society and is due to receive a Lucie Award in recognition of his international achievements in humanitarian photography.

Dr Rangasamy said “To imprison a man of such unimpeachable integrity and humanity as my old and dear friend Shahidul Alam is to imprison the truth in its most basic formulation, the photographic image.

“The campaign for releasing Shahidul unconditionally should be the concern not only of lovers of art and of freedom everywhere, but of everyone who cares about the values of our global civilisation.”