calls for applications for Chobi Mela VII

International Festival of Photography

Drik has announced the theme Fragility for the Chobi Mela VII, International Festival of Photography to be held in January 2013 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Photo practitioners are invited to submit work online and offline following the guidelines available from the festival website

 â€œIn a gendered world fragility is not macho enough,†says Shahidul Alam, Festival Director.  “In a misogynic industry, to pause is to be effeminate. Where sex and violence are the opiates we are fed on, quieter moments do not even make the ‘B roll’. 

The call of Chobi Mela VII is to seek those fragile fleeting moments, to record the nuanced lives we all live – “an unraveling strand of humanity bending against the onslaught of invasive culture; the frail existence of a marginal farmer eking out a living in the shadows of engineered genes; communities holding out against the rising tide of modernity; Lost languages, vanishing cultures, disappearing forests. … In an economy gasping for breath, in an ecosystem reeling under consumption, waste and the ravages of war, the greed of a few threaten the future of many,†Alam says. The festival challenges artists to push back the tide of unbridled growth and lay their stake to a sustainable universe.Â

 “The brilliance of Chobi Mela persistently emerges as a near contact sport between the past and the future, old and young,” said Chris Riley, US media innovator, and formerly head of planning in the Graphic Design Group at Apple, Inc., and a speaker at the 2011 festival. “The overwhelming sense of Chobi Mela VI in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in Asia at the beginning of what has been described as the Asian Century is one of potential. Huge creative potential, the potential to change the narrative of the global community, recast its mythologies and restate its essence. From Dhaka the stories must be different; they must be from a different perspective and in a different form. This is the Chobi Mela challenge: to emerge into the world and change it.”

 Chobi Mela VII in 2013 will be an important step towards meeting this challenge.

See Guidelines:

Online Application:


Secretariat, Chobi Mela

C/O Drik
House 58, Road 15A
Dhanmondi, Dhaka 1209, Bangladesh

Tel: (880-2) 9120125, 8123412, 8112954