Dhaka: Listening to Disquiet
By Shahidul Alam, Tanzim Wahab, Munem Wasif
On November 21, authorities from the German cities of Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, and Heidelberg canceled the 10th Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie, which was planned for March 2024. The Biennale’s official reason was the purported “antisemitic content” posted to Facebook by one of the Biennale’s co-curators, Dhaka-based photojournalist Shahidul Alam, who was openly critical of the Israeli military’s campaign in Gaza following Hamas’s attacks on Israel on October 7. Together with photographers Tanzim Wahab and Munem Wasif, the three Bangladeshi artists and programmers of the Chobi Mela International Photography Festival in Dhaka were the first non-Europeans selected to program the Biennale.