Friday, 09 March 2012
Bangladesh is visually powerful place to visit – just ask Edith Cowan University (ECU)’s photojournalism students.
Fifteen students got the chance to experience the colour and excitement of the county last summer through ECU’s Bangladesh Photomedia Summer School program.
The program gives budding Photomedia journalists the chance to immerse themselves in the history and culture of Bangladesh for five weeks, meeting new people and uncovering unique stories.
Following a week of intensive multimedia training led by Dr D.J. Clark, international online journalist for The China Daily, students were dispersed across Bangladesh to complete individual stories on Bangladeshi rural and urban life.
Students worked in collaboration with students from Pathshala: South Asian Media Institute to produce stories of those living in Bangladesh’s most remote areas.
For photomedia student Danielle Fusco, the tour was both inspiring and eye-opening.
“The minute you arrive it’s an immediate culture shock,” Danielle said.
“Bangladesh is both beautiful and tragic. In terms of a photographic experience it’s the best I’ve ever had. It really made me pause and consider my own life and put things into perspective.”
During her time in Bangladesh, Photomedia student Tijana Lilac uncovered the tale of four women who live on the edge of the Sundarbans, the largest single block of mangrove forest in the world.
They live alone after their husbands were killed by tiger attacks in the region, she said.
“Their story was heartbreaking and made me realise that there are so many stories like this to be told from people around the world,” Tijana said.
Photomedia Coordinator Norman Leslie says the program is an invaluable experience for potential photojournalists.
“Young Australians learn firsthand about life in Bangladesh, one of the poorest and most densely populated countries on the planet. They are all are affected by this,” Mr Leslie said.
”They also learn, in most cases, to draw on their inner strength physically and emotionally, to complete work to an uncompromising standard set by Pathshala, which is recognised as one of the best photojournalist schools in the world.”
“Students make friends for life and many return to Bangladesh. In short, this programme changes lives, both Bangladeshi, Australian and others.”
The students will be showcasing their work at a week-long exhibition at ECU’s Spectrum Project Space from Monday, 26 to Thursday, 29 March.
The ECU Bangladesh Photomedia Summer School Program received funding from the Australian Government (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations) through the Study Overseas Short Term Mobility funding program.
Date: Tuesday, 27 to Saturday, 31 March
Venue: Spectrum Project Space, Edith Cowan University, 2 Bradford Street Mount Lawley
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