Shahidul Alam was born in 1955 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. After his initial education in Bangladesh he did a PhD in Organic Chemistry while working as a research tutor in London University. His interest in arts and politics led to him taking up photography professionally in London which he took on as a full time career upon his return to Bangladesh in 1984. As a political activist he documented the fall of General Ershad in Bangladesh, producing a seminal body of work titled "The Struggle for Democracy" which was awarded the prestigious Mother Jones Award in 1992. Alam served three terms as president of the Bangladesh Photographic Society, during which he set up the Bangladesh Institute of Photography. Alam then set up three important organisations, the award winning Drik Picture Library, Pathshala, the South Asian Institute of Photography, and Chobi Mela the Asian Festival of photography. He also founded Banglarights, the Bangladesh Human Rights Network. Exhibited widely, in venues such as the Museum of Modern Arts in New York, the George Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Royal Festival Hall in London, and winner of numerous awards, Alam is a visiting professor at Sunderland University, an advisory board member of the National Geographic Society and the Eugene Smith Foundation. He is an honorary member of the Royal Photographic Society. His latest project www.majorityworld.com is an online portal representing the photography of non-western photographers.