Photography Creating Change Benefit: Honoring Bangladeshi activist and photographer Shahidul Alam

Friday, Nov 5, 2021

1637 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Photography Creating Change Benefit

The in-person and online Photography Creating Change benefit will feature the film premier of “Passengers” (2021) and will include the presentation of CASE Art Fund’s 2021 Humanitarian of the Year Award to Shahidul Alam. Benefit tickets start at $100 per person. To purchase tickets and for more information, please visit: CASE Art Fund’s Photography Creating Change Benefit.  

Anyone who donates $500 or more will be invited to the 5:00 - 6:00 pm VIP hour to meet the board of directors and Shahidul Alam before the public event.


CASE Art Fund’s mission is to raise awareness about children’s human rights through the support and exhibition of photography.

Due to recent COVID developments, nonprofit CASE Art Fund’s inaugural Photography Creating Change benefit will now take place on Friday, November 5, 2021, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. CST, at Catherine Edelman Gallery, 1637 W. Chicago Avenue, Chicago. The hybrid event (in person and online) will feature the premier of “Passengers” (2021), a short film produced by Still I Rise / A Moment in Time about photographer César Dezfuli’s poignant, ongoing multimedia project covering 118 young refugees rescued from a boat drifting in the Mediterranean Sea. For a preview of the film, click here.

On August 1, 2016, 118 people were rescued from a rubber boat floating adrift in the Mediterranean Sea—one of the hundreds of boats in need of rescue travelling along this migratory route over the last few years. Beginning with César Dezfuli photographing these young refugees minutes after their rescue, the film chronicles his ongoing journey to find and follow up with all the passengers he encountered that day. Dezfuli humanizes this pressing issue by connecting names, faces, and their compelling stories, bringing the migration crisis into full focus.

CASE Art Fund  was established in 2018 by gallerists Catherine Edelman (Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago) and Anette Skuggedal (Lumina Gallery, Oslo) to champion children’s human rights through nontraditional photographic projects, exhibitions, public programs, and events. Edelman and Skuggedal first met in 2010 at the opening of Fotografiska in Stockholm and formed a strong bond over the years through their shared ideas about photography, the art world, and the need to give back. 

According to Anette Skuggedal, “We decided that children needed our help. There are numerous issues affecting children including access to education and the need for safety, which CASE Art Fund advocates for through photography.”

Adds Cathy Edelman, “In today’s 24-hour news cycle, readers and viewers are bombarded with images of war, disaster, and human suffering to the point of leaving them numb. As gallerists, we chose fine art photography as the medium we know best to motivate individuals to take action. We seek out and support incredible work selected from photographic projects with a single-issue focus that we feel will have a lasting impact.” 

CASE’s collaborative programming includes educational panels, exhibitions, public outreach, and fundraising. The nonprofit works closely with photographers whose compelling bodies of work reflect their strong commitment towards social justice with a focus on children's human rights, and with NGOs already fighting the fight. In the last three years since working with its first artist, Muhammed Muheisen, CASE has produced five photographic exhibitions, and has partnered with more than 17 photographers as well as over 23 organizations. 

BriefCASE is a limited-edition collection of photographs by CASE photographers including César Dezfuli, which raises funds for both the photographer and their chosen charity. For purchase exclusively through CASE, 50% of the proceeds of each photograph’s sale is donated to the photographer’s designated nonprofit, 25% to the photographer, and the remaining 25% for CASE. BriefCASE photographers are: Shimon Attie, Alejandro Cartagena, Keith Carter, Turjoy Chowdhury, Binh Danh, Floriane de Lassée, César Dezfuli, Omar Imam, Nora Lorek, Alessio Mamo, Ruben Martin de Lucas, Gideon Mendel, Andrea Motta, Muhammed Muheisen, Emeke Obanor, Tine Poppe, and Lisa Ross.

CASETalks is a monthly in-depth online dialogue via Zoom about an artist’s work and the humanitarian issues raised. Upcoming CASETalks: “Art as Activism” - Shahidul Alam, photographer, writer, curator, and human rights activist, in conversation with Morten Krogvold, photographer and writer, will take place on Saturday, September 11, 10-11 a.m. CST, online via Zoom. To register, click here



Shahidul Alam

A Time magazine Person of the Year in 2018, photographer, writer, curator, and human rights activist Shahidul Alam’s photographs have been shown at museums including MoMA, Tate Modern, and the Centre Georges Pompidou. In August 2018, he was detained for peacefully expressing his views against the Bangladesh government’s repressive practices and was released after spending over 100 days in prison.

Alam established the award-winning Drik Picture Library (1989), an independent media agency in Bangladesh; the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute (1998), South Asia’s first school of photography; and Chobi Mela (2000), Asia’s first international photography festival. His photo-based community-building initiatives in Bangladesh have included a training program for disadvantaged children (who are all now media professionals) and the first women photographers collective.


César Dezfuli,  Amadou [16] Mali / Alpha [17] Guinea K / Musa [18] 2016. 12 3/4 x 37 3/4" pigment print.