The days of Plato and Newton are gone. One big idea doesn't equal to one person anymore. This is an age of 'crowd-sourced' intelligence.
You have probably seen these crowds. But they are hard to recognize outside their usual milieu A heavy pair of glasses, a long grown beard or maybe a restless, bright pair of eyes? Doesn't describe them enough. You will need to take a peek into the laboratories or inside an academic seminar to spot them.
'Spotting a graduate student' amid an everyday crowd might not sound interesting to you, but it actually is. These are the people who are behind most of your gadgets and amenities. They are behind your endless wonder for the stars or oceans or the atoms. They are also the reason of your rage, if you are an evolution skeptic. By the way, it is highly possible that the mechanisms of your medicines were also discovered by a graduate student.
To pursue a masters or doctoral degree is strictly a choice and not a chance. Students who want to obtain a graduate degree in any faculty is simply passionate about that field. Based on the subjects, it takes four to seven years to complete a doctoral degree, and 'weekend' is not a term found in the dictionary of a grad student. It requires constant focus, mental agility and physical stamina to unravel the delicate yet complicated scientific or philosophical entanglements. Still, they tenaciously pursue the mysteries of this world; while you acquire new knowledge from books, newspapers or television, they keep creating it.
I am a graduate student myself and I respect the pursuit of intelligence. I believe that understanding this universe is the best thing we can do to make sense of our lives, apart from helping others. The graduate students spend a significant part of their life in research, yet are not awarded the real honor they deserve from the society. With increasing funding cut in different fields of basic sciences, a job is not guaranteed for them even after completing the degree. A society blessed with science is slowly turning its back toward it while political parties are exploiting religions in their favor.
"Inside the intelligentsia" is a series of photographs depicting graduate students in their extraordinary pursuit of intellectual passion. I hope this series will help us to understand and eventually appreciate the importance of knowledge in advancing the human race.
About the photographer
Mohammad Moniruzzaman is a Bangladeshi Photographer who has been practicing photography since 2007. His photography represents the humans around him, in the well and in woe. His subjective approach to photo documentation results in images which reflects his own perspective on life.
He has been making images out of variegated aspects of life in Bangladesh for the last five years. Currently he is staying in United States where he is trying to visually translate the subtle aspects of western lifestyle.