“I am on an endless journey…to find a real world of humanity. This thirst is eternal. I will keep walking, touching every face I drop through my lens. I will show the world those unknown stories of suffering. If a single hand comes to give them shade, that is the real honor of my sweat” Gmb Akash
Passion and compassion play a huge role in the life, work and teaching of Bangladeshi photographer, Gmb Akash. In 1996, he discovered his passion for photography. Since then he has worked tirelessly, not only to feed that passion, but to use it to champion the cause of the unseen and exploited peoples of society, particularly in the Asia-Pacific area.
Today, his work has been featured in over 45 major international publications and has earned him over sixty prestigious awards. However, as Akash says: “I never do photography…to gain any award. My first rule is to capture what my eyes and heart catches. Taking photos to feed passion may be the most important invisible factor to win competitions.”
Behind Akash’s tireless dedication is his mission to use his camera, physical stamina and heart to speak for the downtrodden, mostly children, whom he calls “survivors.”
On their behalf, Akash is currently racing toward the finish in one of his most challenging competitions thus far. This time the race is between time and funding needed to complete a ten year project entitled fittingly, “Survivors.” The explanation of the project sponsored by Emphas.Is, a new public funding approach to visual journalism projects, can be seen in the video clip below.
In his statement at Emphas.Is, Akash summarizes:
“Survivors” depicts the invincibility of the human spirit to survive against all odds. People who live on the edges of society have had a big impact on me and have been a great inspiration to me as a person and in my career… These people are deprived of even the basic necessities of life, yet they manage to live each day with a smile on their faces. In the project, I trace the lives of those whose existence is based on serving others rather themselves. They have no means to break the vicious circle, which is infinitely imposed upon them like a curse.”
As I write today’s post, Akash’s funding effort to produce his book and provide for special projects for some of his “survivors,” needs only $600 more dollars within the next 32 days to reach his goal. I personally plan to contribute and hope some of you will also.
Along with his heartfelt dedication to his people, Akash’s photographs are stunningly beautiful for their craftsmanship and their searing humanity. I was especially moved by the stories on his blog which accompany each photograph.
TCI is honored to have Gmb Akash as one of its instructors on our highly acclaimed team of international award-winning photographers. Akash teaches Street Photography: Classic and Creative and, as with his personal work, he looks to the heart when guiding his students. I was interested in his approach to the course. Here is what he told me:
“I believe dedication and unconditional love for any particular topic is the best choice for making or deciding subject/projects for students. A shot can not be perfect unless one gives his/her all possible devotion to the topic and. if not. it will be lifeless. We should not blindly follow someone, but should make versatile attempts. Also mostly we should work to feed a photographic soul rather than only work for another medium or persons.
For becoming a powerful photographer I believe the first quality needed is to take spontaneous shots without taking a rest and loving it. Street photography is a very interesting subject. Taking spontaneous photos can make students able to know what is interesting and what is not. Later they can cover stories based upon their experience, and trust me, they will be [amazed] by their ability to choose stories.”
Study with this amazing photographer and. if your heart is moved to do so, please support his project at Emphas.Is.
Street Photography: Classic and Creative (4 weeks)
Classes begin every week during July