A layered critique of autocracy in Bangladesh from leading photojournalist Shahidul Alam, with letters from Arundhati Roy
"On the night of 5 August, I did not know if I was going to live or die," writes Shahidul Alam (born 1955), one of Bangladesh's most respected photojournalists, essayists and social activists, remembering his arrest, torture and eventual 101-day incarceration in Keraniganj Jail in 2018. Just a few hours before, he had given a television interview criticizing the government's brutal handling of the student protests of that year which had called for an end to social injustice--in his words, "the years of misrule, the corruption, the wanton killing, the wealth amassed by the ruling coterie."
Combining Alam's photos and texts with those of collaborators, including artwork by Sofia Karim and fellow inmates, The Tide Will Turn
documents his experiences, the global support for his release and the ongoing fight for democracy in Bangladesh. The book comprises a record of Alam's time in jail; a chapter each on art and politics; and an exchange of letters between Alam and writer Arundhati Roy.
The Tide Will Turn centers on the 100 days the esteemed photographer spent in prison for protesting Bangladesh's religious, nationalist government, but also wisely focuses on the conditions that made his arrest inevitable.--Jonah Goldman Kay "Hyperallergic"