Skip to main content


Naeem Mohaiemen

Associate Professor & Area Head of Photography, Visual Arts, Columbia University School of the Arts

Fellow, Society of Fellows, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (2020–2021)

Headshot of Naeem Mohaiemen

Naeem Mohaiemen combines photography, films, archives, and essays to research the many forms of utopia-dystopia (families, borders, architecture, and uprisings)– beginning from Bangladesh’s two postcolonial markers (1947, 1971) and then radiating outward to unlikely, and unstable, transnational alliances and collisions. Despite underlining a historic tendency toward misrecognition of allies, the hope for a future international left, as an alternative to current silos of race and religion, is always a basis for the work. A throughline in all his work is family unit as locus for pain-beauty dyads, abandoned buildings as staging ground for lost souls, and the necessity of small prevarications to keep on living.

He is author of Midnight’s Third Child (Nokta, forthcoming) and Prisoners of Shothik Itihash (Kunsthalle Basel, 2014); editor of Chittagong Hill Tracts in the Blind Spot of Bangladesh Nationalism (Drishtipat, 2010); and co-editor with Eszter Szakacs of Solidarity Must be Defended (Tranzit, forthcoming) and with Lorenzo Fusi of System Error: War is a Force that Gives us Meaning (Sylvana, 2007). Monographs on his work include the forthcoming What We Found After You Left (Power Plant, 2021). His photographic and film work has been shown all over the world and is in the permanent collections of MoMA, Tate Modern, MACBA, Van Abbemuseum, Art Institute of Chicago, and Kiran Nadar Museum. He is represented by Experimenter, Kolkata.

Mohaiemen was born in London, England, and grew up in Tripoli, Libya, and Dhaka Bangladesh. He received a BA in Economics from Oberlin College (1993) and PhD in Anthropology from Columbia University (2019). He was a Senior Research Fellow at Lunder Institute of American Art, Colby College; Nadir Mohamed Fellow at Ryerson Image Institute, Toronto; and Mellon Fellow at the Society of Fellows, Heyman Center, Columbia University.