About Us

About Pathshala

Pathshala is the early school of Photography in South Asia region, which offers various short-term and long-term educational programs including workshops and presentations in photography and multimedia journalism throughout the year. Pathshala started in 1998. Since then, the institution has slowly grown to become a fully-fledged photo resource centre based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The name Pathshala comes from the ancient education system that prevailed in South Asia. It brings to mind classes held underneath a large tree; conjuring up learning spaces without walls, in the cool shade of its leaves. The South Asian Media Institute of Photography not only allows students to explore the world of image making but provides them opportunities to question beyond the confines of the discipline. The conceptual absence of classroom walls enables 1st year students and 3rd year students to attend the same classes and work together on collaborative projects together with visiting faculty. This enhances and complements each student’s learning experience.  From its modest beginnings Pathshala expanded attracting students from within Bangladesh as well as outside. The school has a rich heritage of photography education, celebrating over 17 years. Our students are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds nationally and internationally. They have been awarded and widely recognized by organizations such as World Press Photo, Alexia Foundation, Joop Swart Master Class, Ian Parry Scholarship, Sony World Photography award etc. Pathshala is a distinctive multimedia educational organization that has made challenging social inequality its central driving force. Over the last sixteen years Pathshala has successfully partnered with national and international organizations and educational institutions to conduct several successful socially responsible programs. Inherent in Pathshala work is this ability to use the power of photography and multimedia to educate, inform and draw powerful emotional responses. Pathshala augments and builds on this strength through a wide network of global and local collaborators. This broader and extended practice of utilizing the entire range of visual culture combined with new media has extended its reach and influence. The Institute also offers courses and educational programs to domestic and international clients: individuals, companies, and organizations. Many of the graduated photographers have become internationally renowned photographers and the number of students that have joined the World Press Photo Master class is unusual for any photography education in the world.

The department of photography of Pathshala is recognized as an institution offering the highest quality education in photography currently available. Through regular assignments and projects the students are encouraged to master their art. Pathshala’s devotion to excellence has enabled it to carve its own niche internationally; making it’s at par with the best in the world. The extensive course curriculum diligently moulds students as professional photographers in their own right. Our graduation course contains subjects like Documentary photography, Visual Anthropology, Portraiture, History of regional photography & film, curatorial practice etc. which gives foundation for a professional photographer and also a critical view on socially engaged storytelling, representation, regional context, eastern and western hegemony etc.

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Pathshala had the privilege to work in collaboration with the prestigious organization in the early days. World press photo foundation, British Council, Panos Institute, Thomson Foundation and Free Press Unlimited (FPU), Goethe Institute and Alliance Francaise – have all contributed significantly to the Pathshala’s success over the Years. Now, Netherlands, Australia, China, Indonesia, Nepal, Norway and Pakistan will also be paving the way for a school that has matured beyond its years. Pathshala is currently conducting exchange programs with Oslo University College (OUC) Norway, Edith Cowan, Queensland College of Art and Griffth University in Australia to give Pathshala students a cross-cultural experience in order to enrich and broaden their horizon. The long-standing affiliations with Sunderland University, Bolton University, the Danish School of Journalism and Erasmus University offer a scope for a world-class education. On the Local frontier, internship opportunities at Drik, Chobimela and Drik News offer on-the-job training that later becomes invaluable in professional career. The regular participation in international festivals and workshops provide a world-view essential in understanding, interacting and becoming established in the global marketplace.

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On 22 March 2010, Pathshala launched its Cinema Department (initially known as Broadcast and Multimedia Department). This department currently offers training in screenwriting, film direction, cinematography, video editing, motion graphics, animation, news presentation and reporting.

This media institute designs the courses and training programs for local and international clients: individuals, companies, and organizations. Part of the long-term plan is to disseminate our unique expertise across the region through master classes, special events, and conferences focused on the issues faced by journalists and media professionals in South Asia.

PATHSHALA ADVISORY BOARD

The advisory body currently consists of leading professionals across a wide range of disciplines. They are respected citizens from all parts of the globe. Several have taught at Pathshala and all have contributed to Pathshala’s international recognition.

Mr. Abdul-Muyeed Chowdhury  is a retired civil servant and former Executive Director of BRAC. He was an Adviser of the Caretaker Government of Bangladesh. He implemented the nearly one billion USD Jamuna Multipurpose Bridge Project.

Mr. Arshad Jamal represented Bangladesh as Chairman of a Foreign Mission Cell in US Congress and accompanied the Prime Minister in her visits to India and Japan. He is the Chief Financial Officer of Novo Air a private airline company.

Ms. Catherine Masud produced “Matir Moina” (The Clay Bird), the first Bangladeshi film screened at Cannes International Film Festival. Her awards include best film and best screenplay in international festivals.

Ms. Khushi Kabir has been a champion for the landless. Her work at Nijera Kori, has organzed over 175,000 landless people in Bangladesh’s rural areas since 1980 helping them resist their state of marginalization and oppression.

Mr. Nurul Kabir, the editor of  New Age, an outspoken newspaper known for its firm stand against corruption and injustice. Mr. Kabir is also a well known television personality and political analyst.

Mr. Pedro Meyer is one of the pioneers of contemporary photography. He was the founder president of the Mexican Council of Photography and organizer of the first three Latin American Photography Colloquiums.

Mr. Raghu Rai is a photographer with the Magnum agency. He is one of Asia’s best-known photographers and was awarded the Padmashree in 1972, one of India’s most important civilian awards.

Mr. Rupert Grey is a well-known lawyer in the UK with a specialist practice in libel and copyright law.  He is a board member of the Magnum Foundation and advises photographers, syndication agencies and galleries on all aspects of copyright and media law.

Dr. Shahidul Alam is an honorary fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and an advisory board member of the National Geographic Society. His book “My journey as a witness” was voted one of the best photo books of 2011.

COURSES OFFERED

PHOTOGRAPHY DEPARTMENT

The Photography department offers the highest quality education in photography currently available. Through regular assignments and projects, the students are encouraged to perfect their art. Pathshala’s devotion to excellence has enabled it to carve its own niche internationally, making its training at par with the best in the world. The extensive course curriculum diligently molds students as professional photographers in their own right.

Short Courses:
A Four-Week Basic Course in Photography
Six-Week Foundation Course in Photograph
Four-Week Visual Storytelling Workshop
Two-Day Digital Photography Workshop

Long Courses:
Three-Year Professional Photography Prtogram

CINEMA DEPARTMENT

The Cinema department offers a wider range of courses including film directing, cinematography, video editing, animation, broadcast news presentation and reporting. Besides, the Cinema department also offers a one-year program in Film Direction and Screenwriting. Each training module covers both technical skills and cross-platform essentials: audiovisual storytelling, cinematic language, media standards and practices, leadership and teamwork.
Appreciation Course
One-Month Course on Understanding Cinema

Basic Short Courses
Three-Month Course in Film Direction
Three-Month Course in Cinematography
Three-Month Course in Video Editing
Three-Month Course in Animation
Three-Month Course in News Presentation & Reporting
Four-Month Course in TV Program Making

Advanced Short Course
Two-Month Course on Advanced Cinematography

Long Courses
One-year Program on Film Direction and Screenwriting

PARTNERSHIP & EXCHANGES

Pathshala has had the privilege of working in collaboration with prestigious organizations since its early days- World Press Photo Foundation and Free Press Unlimited (FPU), The British Council, Panos Institute, The Thomson Foundation, The Goethe Institute and The Alliance Française- have all contributed significantly to Pathshala’s success over the years. Now, Australia, China, Indonesia, Nepal, Norway and Pakistan will also be paving the way for a school that has matured beyond its years.

Pathshala is currently conducting exchange programs with Oslo University College and Bjerkely Folkehøyskol in Norway, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University and Edith Cowan University in Australia to give Pathshala students a cross-cultural experience in order to enrich and broaden their horizons. The long-standing affiliations with Sunderland University, Bolton University, the Danish School of Journalism and Erasmus University offer a scope for a world-class education. On the Local frontier, internship opportunities at Drik, Chobimela and DrikNews offer on-the-job training that later becomes invaluable in professional career. The regular participation in international festivals and workshops provide a world-view essential in understanding, interacting and becoming established in the global marketplace.

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