Munem Wasif was born in Bangladesh in 1983 and obtained his diploma in photography from Pathshala: South Asian Media Academy.
Wasif prefers to photograph the people he knows. Therefore his country Bangladesh is his first, and favourite field of investigation. This is where were born his largest projects, among which there are the three committed books Bangladesh, Standing on the edge (2008), Saltwater Tears (Images Plurielles, 2011) and Belonging (Clémentine de la Feronnière Editions, 2013).
“In last 14 years, I mostly have done long-term photography projects with complex social and political facets. Staring with a traditional documentary language, these projects dealt with multiple questions and investigations, which has pushed me to experiment beyond documentary practice by borrowing a familiar language. Through my process, I was also more doubtful about the production structure of documentary practice, dissemination of images, its politics of representation.... I am generally interested in the concept of ‘document’ and it’s archival and social value. And how documents refer to a time in the transition of history to create an alternative narrative.”
Wasif was just awarded a Bengal Foundation Practice Grant that will support an ambitious exhibition project that will build on the Belonging series and present it in Bangladesh for the first time.
In 2008, Wasif won the ‘City of Perpignan Young Reporter’s Award’ at Visa pour l’image. Prix Pictet Commission (2009), F25 award for concerned photography from Fabrica (2008), Joop Swart Masterclass (2007). His photographs have been published in Le Monde, Sunday Times Magazine, Geo, Guardian, Politiken, Mare, Du, Days Japan, L’espresso, Libération, Wall Street Journal and many others. He had exhibitions worldwide including, Musee de elysee & Fotomuseam Winterthur in Switzerland, Kunsthal museum & Noordelicht festival in Netherlands, Angkor Photo festival & Photo Phonm Phen in Cambodia, Whitechapel Gallery in England, Palais de Tokyo & Visa pour l’image in France and Chobimela in Bangladesh.
Since 2008, he has been represented by Agence Vu in Paris. He was one of the curators of Chobimela VII, International Festival of Photography. Recently he published his book on Old Dhaka by Clémentine de la Féronnière from France.
He currently teaches documentary photography at the Pathshala South Asian Media Academy. His work is exhibited throughout the world.