Amy Helene Johansson, Dhaka-based photojournalist covering South Asia.
Award winning photojournalist Amy Helene Johansson, born 1973 in Stockholm, Sweden, studied film and theatre theory before earning a BA in fashion design. However, after a decade of working for H&M as a fashion designer, a workshop with renowned photographer Steve McCurry was to change her life forever.
Witnessing the power of photography to tell the stories of people without voices, Amy ditched her pencil and paper and bought her first ever professional camera and never looked back.
Within a year she had been published in leading broadsheets and magazines in the UK and Sweden, including the Sunday Times UK, Dagens Nyheter, Sydsvenska Dagbladet, Amelia and Omvärlden.
Her work also enjoyed international acclaim as the self taught photographer picked up first prize in Asian Geographic Magazine “Faces of Asia Award”. The same year she won the “Foundry Emerging Photojournalist Award.”
Amy’s work has taken her all over the world covering topics as wide-ranging as Burmese refugees to Cabaret in Denmark. Her work has been displayed in solo and collaborative exhibitions in Bangladesh, the Czech Republic, Sweden and the UAE. She is currently exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London, UK.
Happiest moment: Riding on the roof of a train with thousands of excited Bangladeshis going home to celebrate the Eid festival. Cheesy tunes on cheap transistor radios and wind blowing in my hair, I leaned over the edge of the train to take the picture that finished in the finals of the National Geographic photography competition 2010.
Toughest interview: Listening to Abdul Hossain reliving the year-long torture in a Bangladeshi prison while his family frantically asked the police of his whereabouts and whether he was dead or alive so that they could at least bury him.
Misha Hussain, journalist