Andrew Biraj


Andrew Biraj grew up watching people's power of resistance, searching for true democracy.

As a member of a middle class family, the plight of the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer, affected him immensely and after becoming a photographer, his images constantly reverberated this plight.

In order to raise a voice against injustice and discrimination, Biraj strives to share his experiences through images. The images he captures tell the stories of the occurrences, familiarity, inequity or addresses the untold nature of his surroundings. With the camera as his only weapon, Biraj always felt it was his responsibility to show what's going on, and photography was the best medium for him.

Over the years, Biraj has documented numerous stories including political brutality, people's protest against coal mine, cancer survivors, jute mill workers, land mine victims, climate refugees and the solitude of his grandmother.

Armed with an Advanced Diploma in Photography from Pathshala in Dhaka and B.A in Photography from the University of Bolton, UK, Biraj has travelled through Afghanistan, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Bangladesh and some parts of Europe to pursue his own work as a social documentary photographer.

He covered the parliamentary elections in Afghanistan, Cyclone Nargis aftermath, Suu Kyei's trial in Myanmar and a story on the landmine victims in Cambodia.

Biraj's World Press Photo 2011 Award winning image.

His stories have been exhibited worldwide, in places such as Visa Pour l'Image, Perpignan; France, Angkor photo festival in Cambodia, Yangon Photo Festival in Myanmar, International Photography Biennial of the Islamic World in Iran, Noorderlicht photo festival in the Netherlands, Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts in Japan, S. Maria della Pieta'in Venice; Italy, National Art Gallery in Malaysia, Drik Gallery in Bangladesh and University of Bolton in UK.

His editorial works have been published in, The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, the Guardian, The Times, Christian Science Monitor, Asian GEO, Himal Southasian, Hindustan Times, New Age, Forum Magazine of The Daily Star and in many other international publications.

He was also selected for the World Press Photo JoopSwart Masterclass grant in 2008 and won the 1st Prize in “Best of Photojournalism” from National Press Photographers Association of America (NPPA) in 2008. He followed that up with 3rd Prize in “Best of Photojournalism” from National Press Photographers Association of America (NPPA), 2010.

To further solidify his credentials, he also won the Silver prize in the 3rd China International Press Photo Contest (CHIPP) in 2010 while also winning the Bronze prize in the same contest back in 2007.

He also won the Award of Excellence in feature photography provided by Society of Publishers Association (SOPA) in 2010 and South Asian Journalists Association Award for Outstanding Photograph in 2010.

Andrew Biraj has been working with Reuters since 2008.

Compiled by Star A&E Correspondent

Khaled Hasan


Khaled Hasan is a storyteller, inspiring people to appreciate and empathise with the cultures and societies he documents. Hasan began working as a photographer in 2001. He graduated from South Asian Media Academy and Photojournalism (Pathshala). His works have been published and exhibited worldwide. He has worked as a freelancer for several daily newspapers in Bangladesh and international magazines. His works have also been published in the Sunday Times Magazine, American Photo, National Geographic Society, Better Photography, Saudi Aramco World Magazine, Guardian, Telegraph, The Independent, The New Internationalist, Himal Southern and Women's e-News.

Hasan's documentary project, “Living Stone”, has won numerous international awards including the 2008 All Roads Photography Contest by National Geographic Society, the 2009 Grand Prix 'Europe and Asia - Dialogue of Cultures' International Photography Contest organised by Museum of Photography, Mark Grosset Documentary Prize 2009 and UNESCO's Humanity Photo Documentary Award 2009.

Other awards include 2009 CIWEM's Environmental Photographer of the Year, 2009 View Book Photo Story Documentary Jury Prize in Netherlands, Golden Medal Award TashkentAle-2010 in Uzbekistan and Emerging Photographer in Contemporary World by Nikon Asia, 2011.

One of the photos from “Living Stone” that won All Roads Photography Contest by National Geographic Society in 2008.

He has exhibited his work widely in Bangladesh (2006-2009) and also in UK, Mexico, Russia, Syria, France, Canada, USA and China.

Hasan always attempts to show a documentation of a culture, to tell a story as a messenger of the community. It is essential for him to ensure communication with and earn the trust of his subjects. Through photography, he hopes to help society empathise with the marginalised facing various forms of torment -- social or political.

Recently, he has been awarded a Dart Center Ochberg Fellowship for 2011. He was one of ten Ochberg Fellows chosen out of a large and exceptionally competitive pool of journalists from across the globe. He is the first Bangladeshi independent photojournalist who received this prestigious award.

Compiled by Star A&E Correspondent

Saiful Huq Omi


Soon after Saiful Huq Omi finished his masters in Tele-communication Engineering, he received his diploma from Pathshala and decided to become a photographer in 2005.

Represented by Polaris Images, he went on to become the contact photographer of New York Times.

His works have been published in Newsweek, Foto File USA, New York Times, New Internationalist, Time Magazine, The Guardian, The Economist, Days Japan and BBC.

Omi has lectured and presented his works and conducted photography workshops at The London School of Economics, Rochester Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Beaconhouse National University in Pakistan, Danish School of Photojournalism and Columbia University. In 2011, he joined Pathshala as a tutor.

He has held exhibitions at galleries in Zimbabwe, Lebanon, Afghanistan, England, Russia, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Germany, Pakistan, Japan, USA and the Netherlands.

Omi has won the All Roads National Geographic Award for his works on political violence in Bangladesh in 2006. He also won Award of Excellence in 2008 and Silver Medal in 2009 at the China International Press Photography Contest. He was one of the finalists for the Aftermath Project Grant-2009 and Alexia Grant for two consecutive years (in 2009 and 2010), for his project on the Rohingya refugees. He was selected for 'Europe And Asia' exhibition in Russia and LOOK3 in USA in 2009. His ongoing work on the Rohingya refugees of Myanmar was selected for the Moving Walls 17 Exhibition.

A photo from “The Disowned and Denied”, Omi's story on Rohingya refugees.

He won the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund for two consecutive years (2010 and 2011). His ongoing work on the ship-breaking industry has been selected for Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism. He was selected for the 17th Joop Swart Masterclass in 2010.

Omi has published his first book, titled “Heroes Never Die - Tales of Political Violence in Bangladesh, 1989-2005”.

Compiled by Star A&E Correspondent