While growing up in the small town of Comilla in Bangladesh, Munem Wasif would dream of becoming a pilot, a cricketer, then … a photographer. None of these choices suited his father. Later on he moved to the large city of Dhaka. His life would take a completely different turn during his years of studying at the Pathshala. He developed a particularly keen interest in stories and would use photography as an extra voice when telling the stories of declining industry and the pain of the workers, the outcasts and of the countryside ravaged by climatic change. He also tells the story of a city for which he has a deep nostalgic love: Dhaka.
Wasif photographs his people and his country Bangladesh. He does not deny being a humanistic story teller with a classical approach to photography, as long as he can convey the emotional experience he shares with his subject. His approach reflects a traditional narrative style, he shows another side of Bangladesh and counters the clichés seen in the Western world. And when he loses control of the story, just like the branches of the tree - whose roots are born from a humanistic manifesto - he allows himself to take different directions.
A documentary photographer whose work has been distributed by Agence VU' since 2008, his work has been published in the national and international press (Monde 2, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Guardian, Politiken, Io Donna, Mare, Du, Days Japan, Libération, Courier International, Photo, British Journal of Photography, Lens Culture…).
He won the Prix Pictet in 2009, the F25 International Award for Concerned Photography from The Fabrica in 2008, as well as the International Award for Young Photo Journalists during Perpignan's Visa Pour l'Image and the Joop Swart Masterclass in 2007.
His work has been shown around the world : in Switzerland (Musée de L'Elysee, and at the Winterhur Fotomuseum), in the Netherlands (Kunsthal Museum, Noorderlicht Festival), in Cambodge (Angkor Photo Festival, and Photo Phonm Phen), in the UK (Whitechapel Gallery), in France (Palais de Tokyo and during Visa Pour l'Image) and finally in Bangladesh (Chobi Mela).
Born in Bangladesh in 1983, Mumen Wasif teaches photography at the Pathshala, South Asian Media Institute. During Photoquai 2013, the gallery and edition Clémentine de la Féronnière presented his work on Old Dhaka in both exhibition and book form for the first time.
Visit Munem Wasif's website
Exhibition : Belonging
Book : Belonging