Acclaimed photographer and activist Shahidul Alam, whose arrest in 2018 drew world-wide criticism, on Tuesday received the prestigious Infinity Award, given by the International Center of Photography.
The Special Presentation award was handed over to him at the 35th annual Infinity Awards gala in New York, said a press release sent by Drik Picture Library, a photography institution founded by the celebrated photographer who was also named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2018.
The ICP Infinity awards are widely considered as leading honour for excellence in the field of photography, writing, and visual arts, said the release.
Cornell Capa, a Hungarian American photographer founded the International Center of Photography in 1974, which is now a world’s leading organisation dedicated to preserve the legacy of “concerned photography”, to quote the organisational website.
Shahidul Alam was named among the recipients of the awards on February 7.
In the media release announcing the recipients of 2019 winners of the awards, ICP executive director Mark Lubell had said, ‘At ICP’s annual Infinity Awards, we honour the significant talents of those using photography, writing, and visual arts to make an impact.’
The release said that in the pursuit of social justice Shahidul Alam set up the award-winning Drik Picture Library, Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, and Chobi Mela international photography festival.
It also said that Shahidul’s book My Journey as a Witness was hailed as the ‘most important book ever written by a photographer.’
Shahidul Alam was held in jail for 108 days on charge of instigating anti-government movement after he spoke to the international media in favour of a peaceful student movement for safe road in 2018.
His arrest provoked an outcry among leading national and global intellectuals including Noam Chomsky and Arundhati Roy.
His release was viewed by many as a victory in the fight for freedom of expression.
Other awards won by the celebrated photographer included Lucie Award and the Shilpakala Padak, conferred to artists for outstanding contribution to their respective fields by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
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