Live True Life or Die Trying

Naeem Mohaiemen

26 October 2009

25 digital C-Prints with vinyl, video. Courtesy: the artist

Live True Life or Die Trying is part of Mohaiemen’s ongoing research into “failed revolutions” and the unintended dystopian consequences of the collapse of left movements as well as, obliquely, the role of the documentarian, who is a partisan propagandist. The photographs are from two overlapping and competing protests that took place in Dhaka in January 2009. One is on the university campus, organized by Left coalitions. The other, larger in scope and ambition, is organized by one of the newer Islamist groups. In the latter, the mood is more urgent, the rhetoric sharper, and as Mohaiemen says, when the protesters “argue that gangster capitalism has failed and is dragging down the world, that the global compact is imploding, it’s a resonant message for many.”