Photoquai : the world image biennial, From 22nd Septembre to 22th Novembre 2015
Since its founding in 2007, Photoquai, the world image biennial, has become a must on the photography scene. And once again it is taking up its fundamental challenge: to acquaint the public with unknown or under-recognised artists in Europe and to trigger dialogue and visual interaction internationally.
As a mirror of a constantly changing world, Photoquai is presenting the work of 40 photographers from the major geographic zones making up the musée du quai Branly collection. Revolving around the theme “We Are Family”, the 400 photographs chosen will be on show 24/7 for two months on the banks of the Seine facing the museum, in a presentation designed by Patrick Jouin. They make up a fresh, fascinating overview of contemporary photography.
This year, two Bangladeshi artists exposed for Photoquai: Sarker Protick and Jannatul Mawa
Sarker Protick: LOVE ME OR KILL ME
"In the wake of its Indian Bollywood neighbour, the Bangladeshi film industry – known as ’Dhallywood’ because it’s Dhaka-based – turns out around 100 films every year. The affluent classes prefer international productions, but for people like me, who grew up with a single TV channel, these films were for a long time the ultimate in entertainment. This is still the case for the majority of Bangladeshis. Love Me or Kill Me, the title of one of these opuses, sums up the universal scenario: boy meets girl, they fall in love, a bad guy lures her away, the hero fights to get her back. Love and revenge, the same dramatic highlights, the same happy end: the recipe’s unbeatable and people love it. As a teenager my dream was to be a musician and a singer. When I went to the Bangladesh Film Development Corporation studios the ambience was just fascinating: the colours, lights, sets, costumes – all so old world, weird, disconnected from real life, but so alive at the same time." — Sarker Protick.
Sarker Protick was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 1986. After studying marketing at the American International University there, he discovered photography when he was 24 and enrolled at the Pathshala Media Institute, also in his home city. Colour, light, minimalist composition, frontality: the Sarker Protick style – he acknowledges the influence of American photographers William Eggleston, Robert Adams and Alec Soth, and of composers Erik Satie, Arvo Pärt and John Cage – is readily recognisable. A devotee of the digital who works with a single 35mm lens, he lives and works in Dhaka and teaches at the Pathshala Institute. What Remains, his project on his grandparents, received a World Press Photo award this year.
Jannatul Mawa grew up in Dhaka in a middle class environment in which the servants lived under the same roof as their employers. So there was a kind of proximity in spite of the social gap, and it is this paradox that she has set out to explore in the series Close Distance. By posing her identically framed housewives and their employees side by side in similar settings she gives almost palpable expression to the silent interplay between domination and subjection. While minimalist and deliberately repetitive, this stratagem in no way detracts from the insightfulness Jannatul Mawa brings to bear on her community. She is grateful to her subjects for having agreed to her proposal – these affluent women could easily have said no – but this does not exclude her challenging of the Zamindari (landed aristocracy) system that is the basis of the class relationships she portrays.
She studied photography at the Pathshala Institute in Dhaka, where she now teaches. Before beginning a career as a photographer for UNICEF she was a longtime women’s rights activist. Her work has been shown in Bangladesh, India, Thailand and the United Kingdom.