Pathshala alumnus Md Fazla Rabbi Fatiq wins this year's Samdani Art Award 2023 for his work Mirage.  

মরীচিকা / Mirage [2022-2023]

Mirage is a series of photographs that attempts to highlight the corruption that lies behind many construction projects in Bangladesh. Focusing on numerous bridges that started to be built in canals, open fields, and agricultural lands over the past two decades - but that now lie abandoned and unused – Fatiq draws attention to the ongoing impact and the sheer scale of this predicament. In several instances, his works depict bridges that have collapsed, with their approach roads in ruins if they were ever made at all.These monumental, almost surreal forms now dominate landscapes across the country, symbolising for Fatiq the systemic corruption in the construction industry where huge budgets are misused and projects left unfinished. Although this series of photographs is devoid of people, it nonetheless conveys lost hopes of connectivity between places and communities, particularly in rural areas where local populations have no option but to move around by water for much of the year. While his works can be hauntingly beautiful, Fatiq’s approach to his subject matter is shaped by an acute social and political sensibility. In Mirage, he deftly combines aspects of traditional photography with elements of abstraction, symbolism and ambiguity, giving rise to the question of what lies underneath the surface of an image.Partly commissioned and Produced by Samdani Art Foundation for DAS 2023