Saturday, 22 May 2010

Munem Wasif: Old Dhaka

Photo © Munem Wasif -All Rights Reserved

Here's a response in many more ways than one to Howard W. French's Old Shanghai galleries which I posted about yesterday.

It's by well-known Bangladeshi photographer Munem Wasif, whose trademark gritty high-contrast black & white photographs seem to be the common denominator amongst many of his equally talented compatriot photographers.

Old Dhaka -as we've seen of the old neighborhoods of Shanghai- offers endless scenes of unadulterated humanity to photographers. The Western affinity for privacy doesn't exist here. Mothers bathe their children in the open, while the elderly help one another to perform basic needs and people live virtually in the open without shame or embarrassment.

It's quite evident from this photo essay that Munem Wasif (and others like him) are photographers who have the ability to achieve a no-holds barred intimacy with their subjects. Achieving this closeness undoubtedly enhances the humanness of the subjects we see in their pictures.

Old Dhaka is featured on the incomparable ZoneZero, the site dedicated to photography founded 16 years ago by Pedro Meyer.