Null and Void
(Of no legal validity, force, or effect; nothing.)
Do Photobooks transcend a sense of unbounded, limitless stances and invite us to be free; free from validation and mandate? Can Photobooks be of bores, dilemmas? Is it possible to contemplate nothingness, unexpected emptiness, or a state of becoming into something unsolidified?
Kaali collective investigates ‘Photobook’ as a form, how it manifests the unresolved feeling of content and discontent, of being and not being. Emerge from within, how the form itself constructs-deconstructs, takes up space, or offers nothing to measure. Therefore evokes a sublime feeling about an in-between space & time, where possibility is infinite but nothing has happened otherwise “something” is buried into limbo.
The Kaali Collective is a group of six women photographers from Bangladesh who have individual practices but envision to write and re-write her-stories, memories, contradictions collectively. By nurturing a trusted and safe space with empathy, diverse experiences, and critical understanding that goes beyond the nexus of art, the collective counters the gaze and questions stereotypical, formulaic ways of representation, art production & dissemination techniques. The core idea, which brought them together initially, was to create a sense of trust and mutual respect, and, in doing so, create the conditions which will enable them to sustain themselves as artists, emotionally if not financially.
Aungmakhai Chak is from the Chak community, one of the eleven indigenous communities in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh. She graduated from the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, one of the leading photography institutes in the world. After graduation, she worked with Drik Picture Library Ltd. as a staff photographer.
The politics of identity and representation is Aungmakhai’s primary interest, which she explores with the help of mythologies, folklore and the current political climate. She is also keen on exploring how time and space are related with these themes.
Aungmakhai’s works have been exhibited in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Norway, and China. Her notable publications are ‘China Dream’, published by the Oslo University of Norway in 2015;‘Centrepiece’, published by Zubaan books from India in 2017; and Bridging The Naf, a collaborative project between two collectives, Kalliand Thuma, funded by the Norwegian Peoples Aid in 2019. Currently, she is working as a freelance photographer, and is a founding member of the Kaali Collective based in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Farhana Satu is a freelance photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She was born in Bagerhat district but raised in Dhaka. She studied at the University of London (UK) for her LLB-Hons, and at the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute (Bangladesh) and the Danish School of Media and Journalism (Denmark), for diplomas in professional photography.
Farhana’s work focuses on stories which might have been overlooked or taken for granted by the casual witnesses. As a visual storyteller, she explores the political, social, and personal aspects of what transpires around us every day and the stark implications they may have on our lives in the long run.
Farhana’s photos have been widely published in various online and printed publications including Bridging the Naf, DOK19, New Era, Women in Work, It wasn’t supposed to be like this, etc. She has participated in various photo festivals and numerous workshops.
Her latest solo exhibition ‘Leukemia Fighters’ was organised by the World Child Cancer Organization.
Farzana Hossen is a photographer based in Bangladesh. She has graduated from the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute. Her work has been exhibited in Chobi Mela (2011), UK–Guardian Gallery (2012), and Mother Gallery in London (2013), Obscura Festival – the 3rd Asian Women Photographers’ Showcase (AWPS) in Penang, Malaysia (2014), Hong Kong International Photo Festival- ‘Voice of Tacitness: Asian Women Photography’ (2014), Women as Witness, in New York (2015).
In 2013, Farzana won the Ian Parry Scholarship and received the documentary award (silver) from the College Photographer of the Year. She was also a recipient of the Alexia Foundation student award of excellence in 2014, and recognised as a Getty Images Emerging Talent (2013-2014). Her work has been published in the Sunday Times Magazine, Guardian, The Daily Star, and New Age.
Juthika Dewry Gayatree is a documentary photographer and a photojournalist based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Born and raised in the countryside of Barisal, a land crisscrossed by rivers, Dewry has a deep-rooted affection for the people and cultures of remote localities, which influences her visual storytelling style.
After finishing her three-year diploma in photography from the Pathshala South Asian Media Academy in 2015, Dewry pursued her interest in filmmaking. She completed her Master’s from the Film, Media and Photography department of the University of Dhaka in 2018.
Dewry combines her background as an award-winning film director with her photography, creating modern lifestyle portraits of people. Her photographs have been exhibited in Dhaka, Oslo, Kunming, and Joondalup.
Rajoyana Chowdhury Xenia is a Bangladeshi photographer based in Dhaka. She began photography without consciously planning to take it up
professionally but eventually became attached to the medium as it enables her to tell stories in a fictional manner.
Rajoyana has a Master’s in Resource Management and Entrepreneurship from the University of Dhaka, and has studied photography at the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute. She also has a diploma in photojournalism from the University of Applied Science and Art at Hochschule Hannover (HsH), Germany. Rajoyana received the Fritt Ord Grant in 2016 for her project ‘Hazard.’ She has worked on women’s empowerment, gender issues and social conflicts.
Her photographs have been exhibited in group shows in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Norway. She is a member of the Kaali Collective, along with five other women photographers from Bangladesh.
Sadia Marium dreamt of being a filmmaker, worked as a merchandiser, and at present is an independent photographer based in Dhaka. Sadia’s practice pollinates the process of creating photographs, books, videos, and alternative printing methods to expose confrontation, imbalance, and dichotomy in a subtle and open-ended manner, at times repetitively. Ordinary characters, unremarkable memories, spaces, and objects are the protagonists in her work, helping her explore the distinction and overlap of reality and fiction, the private and the public. Sadia’s interest in geopolitics and border discourse, the role of narrative and memory shapes her recent and new work.