A very calm lady. This is the room where she is always chained. She stays in the posture, in the same manners as the hours go by and never speaks to anybody. Mental patient is being treated in a private hospital at Kishorganj run by Dr. Sultan Uddin Bhuiyan. “Medallion” and “Blessed Water” from traditional spiritual elites are the only type of treatment available. February, 1999 Kishorgonj.
At the first glance she appears to be just another ordinary woman; you wouldn’t even realize that she is mentally ill and going through treatment, if the chains weren’t on her feet. When I checked on her again after working in the rehab center for some hours, I found her sitting with the same numbness. Her posture didn’t change even the slightest bit. God knows what was going on in her mind!
Main Uddin born in March 1961.
Presently, he is a Team Leader & photographer in Drik Picture Library’s studio department, and a tutor at Pathshala, The South Asian Institute of Photography. A long time ago Main Uddin, a young graduate during those days, used to travel in search of malnutrition –collecting data on its effects among children. He worked for a renowned non-government organization funded by one of the UN agencies. He revisited a few of the villages during a period of three months to find some of his ‘case studies’ dead and buried. According to Main that was the end of his career as a data collector. He did not want to be recorder of human agony if he could do nothing to change the situation. He did not want to be a lone gazer, but one who looks into things with a love that is generated by a will to do something positive. He chose to look through the lenses of a camera that for him till that day was just another hobby. He was determined to change this powerful tool into an object that brought lives together.
Main’s journey into the visual world around us is a political agenda – it is like that of a story-teller in search of elements that need to be bombarded with visual allusions from unseen domains so that reinterpretation of our visual experiences can be possible. In this particular age where a specific form of ‘sanity’ makes us blind to almost everything beyond our momentary existences huddled inside shredded nights and days, Main’s search begins with the ‘non-existences’ and the ‘non-specific’ – it makes a journey into the tormented terrains of the ‘abnormal’ and the ‘forgotten’ – areas that we have categorized as ‘dangerous’. It is not just a search, it is a process of reinstating beliefs using visual-motifs that associate with the abnormal, residing somewhere in the subconscious, that we erase from our lives. He shakes the foundation of our complacent existences and through his photography forces us to relate as active visual signifiers to a world we try to destroy from within ourselves.
2007: New Internationalist, August 2007 /2005: SFADP in Bangladesh. GTZ /2002: INS & OUTS, Medecins sans frontiers-Holland. /2002: MSF – Holland, Magazine. /2002: Memories of mankind 2002, Humanity photo Award book, China./2000 –20001: Nikon photo contest international year book , japan./2000: New Internationalist, October, UK./2000: Save the children\Uk (summery reportof the consultation on ‘state violence against children’). /2000: USPG website, UK. /1999: The Arts world wide, UK. /1999: Annual report, Norad (Norwegian Agency for Development cooperation) /1997: Tradecraft-a catalogue featuring fashion , interiors , handicraft , paper& cards, uk. /1995: Photographs published in UNICEF brochure on south Asian girl children,/Hardships & Joys, Nepal.
2009 : 1st Prize, Maati Imaging Bangladesh Photo contest, Dhaka /2004 : 2nd Prize, HSBC World Environment Day Photo Competition, Dhaka. /2003: CPS 2nd International Photo Contest & Exhibition, Best local entry – BPS gold & CPS medal. /2002: Humanity photo Award – Photo Story Competition, Nomination Award, China Folklore Photographic Association & UNESCO. /2002: Who Photo Contest “Images of Health & Disability”, Switzerland. /2000-2001: Nikon Photo Contest International, Honorable Mention, Japan. /2000: Humanity Photo Award – Photo Story Competition, Nomination Award., China Folklore Photographic Association & UNESCO. /2000: Honorable Mention, 6th National Photo Contest, Organized by CPS, Bangladesh. /2000: Two Honorable Mention, 1st National Photo Contest, Organized by PCS, Bangladesh. /1999: 2nd Prize,”Women of Bangladesh “Photo Contest, Organized by Portrait magazine, Chittagong.