Right from its inception Counter Foto stood against various kinds of human right violations, state sponsored violence and constantly stood by the oppressed through it’s courageous projects.
From the very beginning Counter Foto had have to go through resistance against its political opposition and that enabled Counter Foto to grow with its own strength.
While working on the photography project ‘Heroes Never Die – Tales of Political Violence in Bangladesh 1989-2006’, Saiful Huq Omi the founder of Counter Foto had been repeatedly threatened for life. Arrest, detention at numerous times and even after the assassination attempts the photography book came out but within a no period of time the book was banned. In the mid way of production of the assigned film ‘No Empathy Please’ on the same topic was stopped. All the galleries were forced not to showcase the photography exhibition. Similarly,the scheduled ‘International Conference on Political and State Violence and the Rise of Political Islam’ was again forced to shut down. All these were instrumented by Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed who served as the Minister of Social Welfare from 2001 to 2007 and who had recently been convicted as war criminal and received the highest punishment of the land- the capital punishment. The entire political conspiracy couldn’t stop the expansion of Counter Foto rather extended to address many other human rights violation. So, Counter Foto learned how to spread its wings across the soil of political turbulence. And the historic lesson has made Counter Foto a unique organization, which has been able to take up all the challenging political, human rights and social issues, when many organizations could not able to dare it. This has made the organization vibrant and the vibrancy has been able to engage not only the artists from different fields but also intellectuals, scholars and activists from the country and as well as from different corners of the globe.
Counter Foto represents a counter discourse, a counter representation, which promotes dialogue and activism. Revealing “the image beyond a stereotyped image” is Counter Foto’s unique practice. While stereotyped images portray the vulnerable peoples’ sufferings as the source of sympathy, Counter Foto portrays the sufferings as the source of energy and activism. It engages people to observe the glory of fighting and thus instigate activism from inside. The spirit has made Counter Foto a dynamic organization that grew spontaneously with growing participation of young minds and a workplace for those driven by passion for activism.
Counter Foto is a platform where imagination, creation and talents are nurtured. It recognizes, celebrates and supports young talents to create a long standing impact on humanity and serve as a source of inspiration to others. Counter Foto has chosen several ways to honor the human face.