7 October 2016

Thom Yorke, 2016. Photogrpah © Sarker Protick / VII

It was late 2006, I was desperately looking for new music, new sound. At that point ‘The Doors’ was the most relevant (still is) but I was already through their discography several times. The search for new sound continued.

The name ‘Radiohead’ was not unfamiliar. As a matter of fact I did try listening them few times before but couldn’t really like it. Now I look back and realize understand that my mind simply was not ready to recognize this sound and the complexity of their work.

Anyhow, I decided to give another go and this time I picked the album “Amnesiac”, as I was interested about amnesia, so that felt appealing. The track title was ‘The Pyramid Song’. The sound that came through my earphones seemed coming out from a different earth. As if it was written by a different civilization from distant stars. But the emotion it carried was deeply human. I never heard anything quit like this. Although they are a British Band, the sound don’t resemble to Brit Music or any other countries per say. The hunting Piano riffs, the very odd drum patterns, the orchestral arrangement and the ambient textures were blended with a voice that is so unique, it was unlike anything of this earth. I realized it didn’t matter where I/listener come from or where the origin of the artist is. It is when the artist creates such a beautiful universe, which we can inhabit. We are able to experience all the emotions that pulse through our vein, send signals to our brain and the brain gets stimulated by the rush of blood it receives. We can live inside it, spend hours after hours, in our saddest and darkest time and dance through it. It is the purest form of art.

That next year they released, In Rainbows. Since then, it’s been almost 10 years I am growing up with their music. Never disappointed but only amazed and surprised and inspired of what they can create. This summer, I went to see them live for the first time. Before my very eyes I saw something extraordinary beautiful and unreal. Words can never achieve the vocabulary to describe it.


Dhaka, 2016

Special thanks to:
Giana Choroszewski: For helping me to arrange the press pass.
Francesca Sara Cauli: For your support around the stage.
Bego Anton: For the Camera.
Arnau Bach: For the Lens.
Valerio Berdini: Texting me stage tips from London.
Emily Wabitsch: Partner in crime.


‘Astres Noirs’ is shortlisted for Paris Photo Aperture Foundation first book award.

Review by Robert Dunn on Photo Book Store Magazine:

“What do we do with black and white these days? Photographers can of course still shoot film, process it, print it; they can chase masters such as Garry Winogrand and Bruce Davidson as if it’s still forty, fifty years ago. But if a photographer wants to bring black and white into the current century—modernize it, exploit all the current possibilities—then what to do?

One approach that caught me at last year’s New York Art Book Fair was Antony Cairns’s LDN EI, in which he put his high-contrast black-and-white images on a hacked Kindle. Clicking through the “book,” you saw less a photo and more an arrangement of tones. I bought the Kindle version of LDN EI (still available), yet passed on the printed version—it wasn’t as interesting, not as pure an experience.

One exciting thing about Katrin Koenning and Sarker Protick’s Astres Noirs is that it brings experiment and new technology in black and white back into a physical, bound book—indeed, one of those photobooks that could only be an actual book. But what intrigues me most about Astres Noirs is that in a way it understands that it’s not black-and-white photography at all, but something else instead.

You get a clue to what’s going on as you open the book and find the words “All colours … within black.” Then you realize that half-hidden under a folded sheet is the word disappear, so the phrase reads, “All colours disappear within black.” And that’s what Astres Noirs is: a book of photos in which the colors have been removed. We call it black and white (or, as we’ll see, more accurately black and silver) because that’s what we’re used to, but in truth the book is onto something else. Just look at the title: In English, Black Stars. This book is not called Black Holes. Light and form do not disappear but instead shine forth, but mysteriously, ambiguously, contradictorily.”

Read more: Photo Book Store Magazine


30 September 2016


It is no longer possible to imagine a world without photography. In our digital age anyone can pick up a camera to produce a ‘good’ image and share it with the world. Cheaper, better, user ­friendly technology and ease of access to online platforms have blurred the line between the professional and the amateur. A new culture of producing and consuming photographs is at work, challenging the profession of photographer as we used to know it, yet at the same time allowing us to express ourselves in innovative ways to a range of potential audiences on a global scale.

As a web­ technology company in the photography industry, Viewbook is directly involved in translating new technologies and needs into meaningful possibilities for photographers. At a time when technology, globalization and the internet are having such great impact, we are curious to find out how photographers see those changes and how they work with them.

Viewbook Transformations is a program designed to explore these new challenges to photography and is aimed at promoting high­quality work, especially the use of photographs as part of a sustained in­-depth narrative. The program includes an annual $5,000 grant, and publishes visual stories. To spark dialogue we have assembled an expert team (see below). Guest writers will share their ideas and vision on changes in photography.

Examples of themes that will be explored within the Transformations program are:

    • Which current developments affect visual storytellers and how?
    • What does it mean to be a photographer today, and how does one make a living doing so?
    • How do technological developments change the way in which stories are produced, and does form affect content?
    • How can photographers best reach and engage an audience?

Transformation Experts:

Arianna Rinaldo
Donald Weber
Giuseppe Oliverio
Sarker Protick
Tanya Habjouqa

More info about the grant:





This week I am hosting the ‘Photographic Museum Of Humanity’ instagram and will be sharing selected works.

28 September 2016


“Astres Noirs” will be presented at ‘Look up at the sky’ in Barcelona curated by Pedro Torres.

Look up at the sky és un cicle de cinc exposicions centrat en la fotografia contemporània a través d’un dels seus principals mitjans de materialització: el fotollibre. Les exposicions que integren el cicle mostraran una vintena de projectes fotogràfics recents d’autors nacionals i internacionals. La selecció de projectes se centra en la relació de l’ésser humà amb el seu entorn, especialment el natural i el de la naturalesa de les coses, a la cerca d’una comprensió global, potser cosmogònica, de la seva ubicació o existència en un context més ampli, cosmològic.

Els fotollibres es presenten agrupats en cinc conceptes: cosmologies, geografies, geoligies, gramàtiques i combinatòries, disciplines que estan relacionades amb el nostre intent de comprensió del món. Com afirmava Humbolt, “el reflex del món exterior de la persona, les impressions de la Naturalesa que l’envolta i les disposicions físiques influeixen per més d’un concepte en la formació misteriosa de les llengües. La persona treballa al seu interior la matèria que li subministren els sentits, i els resultats d’aquesta operació interna són tant del domini del Cosmos, com els fenòmens sobre els quals es realitza”. Així, cada projecte posseeix i reflecteix un món propi a través del llenguatge inherent. I amb tots ells procurarem fer el que el saberut alemany negava a la ciència, “perdre’ns a les regions nebuloses de les fantasies cosmològiques”

Pedro Torres.
Comissari de Look up at the sky (Terrassa Comissariat 2016)



27 September 2016

“Writing Photographs’- a workshop that i gave this year’s edition of Obscura Festival, Penang, Malaysia.


The produced body of works examine and explore urban spaces and the dichotomy of it. A space that never feels still but always in transition, on the move.

While some individual have worked with the physical space others reacted in a more instinctive and emotive response to it. Their critical observation varies from the highly consumeristic surroundings to the state of absolute nothingness. The subjects of theirs stories ranges from conventional photographic topics to the most banal. Collectively they have created a complex narrative of Georgetown, Penang.

While the social media ‘Likes’ and Instagram feeds are feeding our visual appetite every hour, the quality of the contents are debatable. How much of it stays in our mind and for how long? Or do they all function similar like ‘Snapchat’, disappear from the existence. As a storyteller do we adopt the new media? How much of it is a necessity? And how much of it is just noise. It’s also worthwhile to think about if this technological advancement are affecting our taste or limiting our visual possibilities. Does it allow us to be sensitive enough to go in depth of a story? Do the works live in our consciousness?

“Writing Photographs’ is an interface questioning all these contemporary platforms and trends and preferably going old school. The participants will produce short stories and will be encouraged to think before making work, to write before pressing the button. How do we incorporate ‘Text’ with our photographic language? How do we transform it into a form rather than functioning as a caption? Or how is it that we can use the photographs as captions? The objective is to develop works where the author is more vocal even if it does not fit in the current and popular structures of storytelling.

Participants are requested to bring a Pen, a notebook and a camera.


Me and my friend Katrin Koenning made a book with the french publisher Chose Commune. It is called ‘Astres Noirs’. Read the review on L’Oeil de la Photographie:

Review by Antoine Soubrier on The Eye of Photography

Although less publicized than the daily dose of drama or the turmoil of our planet, and more cryptic, an event quietly troubled the beginning of the year 2016. Gravitational waves were discovered by American scientists which, like an interstellar ripple, pull at the very fabric of space-time of our universe. It is enough to make the blood of any earthling curdle.

Light, the photographer’s tool, usually sculpts matter: Sarker Protick and Katrin Koenning, however, use light to record darkness, as if in relief. The publishing house Chose Commune invited the two artists to collaborate, thousands of miles apart, by juxtaposing their photographs taken with smartphones, then editing them and printing them on black paper using metallic ink.

This original process reverses the usual points of reference: everything in Astres Noirs seems to be emerging from the dark, cloaked in mystery. We can distinguish faces, landscapes, and all sorts of “life forms”—animal or plant, which should evoke elements of our habitual, reassuring surroundings. But everything appears otherworldly, as if seen from another planet, by a different kind of perception. Our everyday world, the only one we know, has been suddenly splattered by a syrupy bath of strange, nyctalopic power, sweeping the planet at various levels, speeds, and distances all at the same time. The earth glows, and sometimes eyes do. We traverse caves and explosions and accumulate details, trying to understand, sometimes surprised by an encounter, confused by a smile, or by a bird that, from his branch, has seen it all.

Astre Noir
168 pages
79 B&W photographs
16 cm x 22 cm
May 2016
1500 copies
More informations : Chose Commune


Opening of my solo exhibition ‘নিরবধি’, selection of works from What Remains, archive and installation – tomorrow 14th April, 5PM at Latvian Museum of Photography, Riga.

Co-supported by Riga Biannual: http://www.rpbiennial.com/program.html

Dates: 14.04.2016 – 15.05.2016
Meeting with the author on 15th April at 6.00 pm.


Katrin Koenning and Sarker Protick: Towards the Light

Review by Sunil Shah on ASX

“Photographic realism’s grounding qualities are at times, at odds with arts transcendental powers, so much so that when we see the sublime in a photograph – the ultimate, mind-blowing sunset, a resplendent El Capitan in Yosemite or the NASA image of earthrise taken from the ascending Lunar Module, our souls are momentarily touched.”




Family Photography Now edited by Sophie Howarth & Stephen McLaren published by Thames and Hudson. 

A beautiful and moving anthology exploring the complex dynamics of contemporary family life.

Forty international photographers present pictures, albums and archives, many never previously published in book form. They explore relationships between brothers and sisters, parents and children, step-families and in-laws, outcasts and adoptees. Featured projects include Birte Kaufman’s award-winning images of Irish travellers, Magnum member Trent Parke’s darkly amusing shots of his family in suburban Australia, Nadia Sablin’s elegy to her elderly aunts living in rural Russia, and Elina Brotherus’s devastating records of failed IVF.

Two critically engaging essays address how photographs have become an essential tool for families to lay down memories, reinforce identities and understand emotional attachments.

A bold and brave book that will captivate everyone curious about other people’s lives, and all those who turn to photography to celebrate or make sense of their own family.

The review on The Guardian:

“Bangladeshi photographer Sarker Protick grew up knowing his grandparents, John and Prova, as strong, hard-working people, whose work took them all around the country. “As they got older and became confined mostly to their apartment, I visited them often. But the pace of our lives had become so different, and sometimes I struggled to know what to talk about. I started making photographs as a different way to spend time with them. They loved it. So did I. The experience of photography gave us much more than just photographs.”

This photograph of John and Prova embracing in bed is a particularly poignant one for their grandson. “By that time, their declining health meant they slept in separate beds, and they were only rarely able to be physically close. I moved their beds together to set the picture up. It is the last photograph ever taken of them together. After Prova died, John asked me to print a copy of it for him to put up in their apartment.”