Shahidul Alam: Singed But Not Burnt

Friday, Apr 14 – Jul 15, 2023

659 W. Wrightwood
Chicago, IL 60614

“As journalists, we need to feel the heat, stand close to the fire, and risk being burnt. Take one step back, you become ineffective. The trick, therefore, is to get singed but not burnt.” – Shahidul Alam

Shahidul Alam: Singed But Not Burnt surveys the four-decade career of the renowned Bangladeshi photographer, writer, activist, and former Time magazine Person of the Year, as he documents the consequences of catastrophic weather, repressive regimes,and political upheaval in his home country. Through select projects and more than 80 searing photographs, Singed But Not Burnt showcases art, education, and institution building as forms of resistance. Using the photographic image, Alam illuminates discrepancies in everyday life, from early attempts to oppose military rule to autocratic rulers. At a time of rising autocracy, and with freedom of expression under threat worldwide, this exhibition sheds light on the resilience of those who continue to resist. Singed But Not Burnt draws on an exhibition currently touring in India which was first organized by curator and art writer Ina Puri. As an award-winning documentarian, she has chronicled the lives of India’s most distinguished art practitioners.