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Opening Celebration: Shahidul Alam: Truth to Power

Featuring DJ Ushka

Friday, November 8, 2019
6:00 PM–11:00 PM

Celebrate the opening of “Shahidul Alam: Truth to Power,” the first comprehensive survey of the Bangladeshi photographer, activist, writer and institution-builder Shahidul Alam. The exhibition features images and ephemera from his over four-decade career, as well as new work that show the breadth of his practice and impact in Bangladesh, across South Asia, and beyond.

Enjoy free admission to the museum, groove to music by DJ Ushka, hear from the artist, and toast to the new exhibition with happy hour in the K2 lounge!

Opening Night Schedule

  • Happy Hour in the K2 Lounge | 6:00″“7:00 PM
  • Opening remarks from Executive Director Jorrit Britschgi and artist Shahidul Alam | 6:45 PM
  • Docent-led Museum tours | 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM
  • DJ Ushka spins in the K2 Lounge | 6:00-11:00 PM
  • DJ set with heavy bass and global beats | 9:00-11:00 PM

“Shahidul Alam: Truth to Power” is supported by Rasika and Girish Reddy, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Deven and Monika Parekh, and Sonny and Gita Mehta.

The Rubin Museum’s year of exploring power is made possible by the generous support of Lois and Bob Baylis, Fred Eychaner, Ann and Matt Nimetz, Shelley and Donald Rubin, Rasika and Girish Reddy, and the Ellen Bayard Weedon Foundation.

About the DJ

Ushka is a Sri Lankan”“born, Brooklyn-based DJ traversing genres across electronic club and bass music. She is one half of iBomba, a Brooklyn-based duo and party that has thrown immigrant- and people-of-color-centered parties for the last five years. She DJs from the perspective of a dancer, blending a wide range of club music from soca to dancehall, hip-hop to South Asian rhythms, Baltimore/Jersey club to baile funk, vogue cuts to kuduro, azonto to afrobeat, and more. When she isn’t crafting dancefloor spaces, Ushka is a political and cultural organizer.

About the Artist
A Time magazine Person of the Year in 2018, photographer, writer, and human rights activist Shahidul Alam obtained his PhD in chemistry from London University before taking up photography. Returning to his native country of Bangladesh in 1984, he campaigned to bring down autocratic General Hussain Muhammad Ershad. In his pursuit of social justice, he set up award-winning organizations: the Drik Picture Library (1989), an independent media agency that promotes work by local image-makers; the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute (1998), the first school of photography in South Asia; and Chobi Mela (2000), an international festival for photography. He also co-established the international photo agency Majority World. In August of 2018, he was detained for peacefully expressing his views against his government’s repressive practices.

His book “My Journey as a Witness” has been described by John Morris, the legendary picture editor of Life magazine, as the “most important book ever written by a photographer.” A recognized public speaker, Alam has lectured at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford, and Yale Universities. His work has been exhibited at MoMA, Tate Modern, and the Centre Georges Pompidou. His awards include the Lucie Foundation Award, Frontline Club Tribute Award, the ICP Infinity Award, as well as the Shilpakala Award, the highest cultural award given to Bangladeshi artists. Alam is the only person of color to have chaired the prestigious international jury of World Press Photo. He is a visiting professor of Sunderland University and an honorary fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.

Museum admission is free every Friday night from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. during K2 Friday Nights.