2009 — student award of excellence
Khaled Hasan, born in Dhaka in 1981, is a storyteller, inspiring people to appreciate and empathize with the cultures and societies he documents. Hasan began working as a photographer in 2001. He has graduated from South Asian Media Academy and Photojournalism (Pathshala). His works have been published and exhibited worldwide. Hasan has worked as a freelancer for several daily newspapers in Bangladesh and international magazines. His works have been published in major magazines and newspapers in the world: Sunday Times Magazine, American Photo, National Geographic Society, Better Photography, Saudi Aramco World Magazine, Guardian, Telegraph, the Independent and 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 of National Geographic Society, the 2009 Grand Prix “Europe and Asia – Dialogue of Cultures” International Photography Contest organized by Museum of Photography, Mark Grosset Documentary Prize 2009 and UNESCO’s Humanity Photo Documentary Award 2009.
His other awards include 2009 CIWEM’s Environmental Photographer of the Year, 2009 View Book Photo Story Documentary Jury Prize, Netherlands; Alexia Foundation Student Award (Award of Excellence), 2009 CDP Emerging Documentist Award, 6th Days Japan Photojournalism Awards, Finalist of Emerging Vision Incentive in Pictures of the Year International, 2010, Golden Medal Award TashkentAle-2010, Uzbekistan, 2011 Emerging Photographer in Contemporary World by Nikon Asia, 2011, Audience Choice Award, 2011 Women’s Voices from Muslim World Film Festival, Honorable Mention in Professional Category of Photo Philanthropy First Activist Award, 2009.
He has exhibited his work widely in his home country of Bangladesh (2006-2009), and also exhibited worldwide in London, Mexico, Russia, Syria, France, Canada, USA and China.
Hasan always wants to show a documentation of a culture, to tell a story as a messenger of the community. It is essential for him to create communication and trust with his subjects. Through photography, he hopes to help society empathize with hidden social, political and environmentally suffered people. It is important to realize that no documentation will ever be finished. This work informs his identity that has started from one point but has no ending.
Recently he has been awarded a Dart Center Ochberg Fellowship for 2011. He was chosen as one of ten Ochberg Fellows out of a large and exceptionally competitive pool of journalists across the globe. He is the first Bangladeshi independent photojournalist who has received this prestigious award. He has been selected alone through Asia Pacific.
Old home is a very new discourse in our society. It has not been practiced in our society for a long time, but over the course of time, such a practice is increasing day by day. Being a traditional society, the people in Bangladesh have their own values and customs. Respecting one’s parents and living with them in the same home is one of the integral parts of our country’s value system. However, nowadays there are more people placing their parents in the homes for the elderly. It is being said that traditional societies adopt such a practice because of globalization. In the West, this is not an uncommon practice.
We, the young and working class of our society, claim that we are working to create a better future and society for our next generation. While claiming this, we ignore the people who have created the present. We forget about the contribution of the last generation, and the sacrifices they have made for us. What you sow, you will reap. We are setting an example for the next generation by what we do today. And in this way, are we not teaching them to do the same with their ancestors as we did to ours?
As we move through the twenty-first century, one of the most dramatic changes in population is in the increase of the number of elderly people and their lack of social support. This causes a more stressful life in their old age. If we claim to work for society, then surely the elderly are the most important part of the society we work for. It was because of their experience and support that we were able to establish ourselves in this world.
In the developed countries we want to get rid of our duties and responsibilities by sending them to the homes for the elderly and then visiting once in a month. Let us look back to our past; according to our traditional Bengali culture, all our families used to live together. Now, the practice of living together is becoming extinct. People prefer to live individually. Due to our competitive life, living separately is being practiced more. This causes frustration and gives less social support for our elderly. In some cases, this precious section of society are being neglected by their own family, as some families think that they are a burden to our modern and fast-moving lifestyles.
In fact, mostly in city areas, people are becoming more mechanized, busy, and loaded with jobs. But we never think about our parents who have always been with us. We don’t want to spend our valuable time on this happiness.
Being a documentary photographer I would like to represent the elderly view on our social structure and their expectations from us. Photography has the visual power to educate by allowing us to enter the lives and experiences of these socially neglected people. Through my photography I have tried to show their unseen emotion and pain.