Photographing to Make a Better World

April 11, 2014 - Photographers - Post by: WfpaEdit

GMB Akash is a multimedia journalist having travelled intensively in 22 countries and received more than 70 international awards. His work has been featured in over 80 major international publications, including National Geographic, New York Times, The Economist and dozens of others. However, the simple idea of photography never entered into his head before his 20s. He took his first photo with his father’s camera in 1997. Since then, he said, “I haven’t spent a single day without taking pictures.”

Practice is important, but focus is the key to his success. Akash uses his photos to uncover an invisible world, where survival is a daily threat. He tears off the beautiful surface projected by mainstream commercialism and forces us to see that some of our human fellows are still fighting “a battle that is fought in large part, with little more than a fleeting smile.” They are the Survivors. They are his inspirations.

Survivors is a 10-year-photo project covering areas in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Pakistan and Bhutan. The focus is people at the bottom of societies – those who must struggle on a daily basis, simply to survive and people who live on the margins of society, including child labors, sex workers, climate change survivors and many other underprivileged groups. Their daily life is a show of the “invincibility of human determination to struggle and survive against all odds.”

This project creates another sensation in the world. However, Akash didn’t stop here. Photographing them is not his end. He has been striving to make an effort through photography to change the world, for how little it may be, trying to find the way leading to love and peace. He organized a small activist group dedicated to helping those people to break the circle of poverty, such as donating rickshaws to a community, sewing machines to brothels and providing education for children. He also planned that 25% price of the book Survivors will go directly to assist the endeavors of some of the people and their families depicted in the book.

As he said, he is “in an endless journey towards an infinite route, only to find a real world of humanity.”


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