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Shipbreakers | Photojournalist: Jana Ašenbrennerov

Shipbreakers | Photojournalist: Jana Ašenbrennerov | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

Chittagong is one of the biggest ship breaking yards in the world. It is graveyard where ships are taken from all around the world for their last voyage, to be taken apart. 


Know for unsafe work practices and environmental pollution due to the demolition and ship breaking processes, Chittagong presents one of the biggest industry and job opportunities for many Bangladeshis.


Some 30, 000 workers are engaged in this scrapping in Bangladesh's Sitakunda coast, which houses the world's second largest ship-breaking industry after China. At least 250,000 people in the country live off the industry directly and indirectly, according to experts.


The industry is a critical contributor to the low-income country's economy, and Bangladesh relies on ship breaking for 80% of its steel needs. But along with the recyclable materials comes a lot of toxic junk and hazardous material such as asbestos.


Often unaware of the risks they face on a daily basis by carrying heavy loads, directly touching materials that are known to cause cancer (asbestos), the workers rarely take these risks into consideration. "I don't see any danger" said a 17 year old worker.


Living in a 3rd world country, taking care of a family, the priorities of workers in the yards of Chittagong have a different order. To be without a job, letting their families go hungry, represents a bigger treat to these men then working in an environment that can eventually lead to health issues or early death. 


Copyright Jana Asenbrennerova 2010 

Collaboration on access and text with Syed Zain Al-Mahmood

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De l'or dans les égouts | Photographes: Bruno Valentin & Julien Pannetier (ZEPPELIN)

De l'or dans les égouts |  Photographes: Bruno Valentin & Julien Pannetier (ZEPPELIN) | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

"Les égouts ne sont pas réputés pour leur convivialité, mais en Asie du Sud, leur contenu est une invitation aux plus dégourdis. Personne ne prête attention à cette poignée d'hommes crottés de la tête aux pieds, mais c'est pourtant de l'or qu'ils cherchent. De la poussière d'or que des joailliers trop pressés évacuent avec leurs eaux usées. Pas de quoi ameuter les foules, mais suffisamment pour faire vivre quelques familles bengalies. Tous les matins, ils profitent que les rues soient désertes pour faire vomir les canalisations. Ils écument méticuleusement les boues avant d'en extraire l'or à l'abri des regards indiscrets. 


Dhaka s'est endormie, ventre à l'air. La grande malade de l'Asie du Sud a péniblement trouvé le sommeil. Tous ses enfants l'ont rejoint, mais cette nuit, il fait si chaud que les sans abris sont encore les mieux lotis. Recroquevillés sous les jupons de la ville-mère, ils profitent des deux heures d'accalmie qui précèdent l'appel à la prière pour s'enfoncer dans un coin de trottoir moelleux. Dhaka transpire et pour cette nuit sans électricité, mieux vaut être dehors sous la caresse d'une brise moite que dans une chambre aveugle sous un ventilateur inanimé. " - ©ZEPPELIN


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Life for Rent | Photojournalist: GMB Akash

Life for Rent | Photojournalist: GMB Akash | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

"The two-to-three –thousand –square-meter area of Kandaportte Potitalow (Bangladesh) is home to 1500 prostitutes and their families. This place is all they know and it has its own micro infrastructure of grocery stores, teahouses,hairdressers, and doctors. The women themselves only know this other world through the men who come here; they know rickshaw pullers, truckers, businessmen, policemen and priests.

 

Most of the girls who work here were either born here, fled here, or were sold by their relatives when they were between eight and ten years old.

 

Inside, the man is the guest, but he pays for the hospitality. Sex without undressing and without further intimacy costs hundred takes (1USD = 70 Takas). For special services the price can go up to as high as three hundred takes, and the whole night will cost you five hundred.

 

Low social status and a lack of opportunities for both education and employment, have forced many Bangladeshi women into prostitution or exposed them to other forms of sexual exploitation. An estimated 150,000 women are involved in prostitution in Bangladesh."

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Rana Plaza Collapse: Death of A Thousand Dreams | Photojournalist: Taslima Akhter

Rana Plaza Collapse: Death of A Thousand Dreams | Photojournalist: Taslima Akhter | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

On that day, early in the morning many garment workers walked into the factories of Rana Plaza, their working place. Within an hour everything was shattered. Nobody knows how many workers were running to save his or her lives at the end moment. Workers’ scream echoed on the walls of Rana Plaza. Many of their voices could not reach out passing through the heavy concrete walls. Over a thousand workers lost their lives in the deathtrap. They are the cheapest labors of the world. They are not only numbers; they are human beings.

 

Who could imagine the collapse that caused the most unacceptable fate for the cheapest labors from Bangladesh? 24th April 2013, 9am. Becoming a brutal incident of history, a nine-story commercial building Rana Plaza collapsed at Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh and left more than 1134 workers dead, more than hundred missing and many other wounded. Around a thousand families have found dead bodies of their beloved family members. - Taslima Akhter

Photo report's insight:

About photo of two victims amid the rubble of the garment factory collapse, Taslima Akhter was selected for the 3rd prize singles of the World Press Photo of the Year 2013

TECHNICAL INFORMATIONSHUTTER SPEED: 1/40ISO: 1600F-STOP: 2.5FOCAL LENGTH: 35.0 mmCAMERA: Canon EOS 5D Mark II


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Brothels | Photojournalist: Miguel Candela

Brothels | Photojournalist: Miguel Candela | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

In July 2010, radical islamists burned down the brothel injuring two prostitutes and leaving most without anything. “We had to jump onto the river and losteverything”, recalls Hasina. “We even didn’t have clothesto wear and we were forced to live one month and a half in the open”. The attack was coordinated by middle aged men who want the prostitutes out. “They say that the women corrupt their boys and they know that their assault wouldn’t be punished by this hypocrite society”. explains Shirin Akter,an Action Aid worker, “and they know that their assaultwouldn’t be punished by this hypocrite society”.

 

Nobody was arrested and troops were deployed to protect thereconstruction of the place only after the Prostitutes’Association made a public pledge.  After countless demonstrations that stirred media interest, prostitutes now fight for their rights. They don’t have to walk barefoot when they leave the brothel anymore, and their bodies can be buried in a cemetery, though still in a separate one. Better than having their remains floating in the river covered by a sheet, anyway. But, still, sex workers’ IDs state their job and their address appears as ‘brothel’. That’s today’s fight. But the war goes to a higher ground: making prostitution legal in a country which Constitution stipulates it’s citizens’ right to choose their profession freely.

 

“Society uses us to fulfill their human needs, but treats us like animals”, criticizes Ahya Begum, 37, president of the Prostitute Association of Faridpur, which gets support from both SMS and the international NGO Action Aid. “Maybe our job is different from others, but human dignity has nothing to do with profession”, claims Begum during a public gathering in a small garage in front of Faridpur’s brothel compound. Women around her nod their heads in silence. In this kind of assembly, the girls vote and decide things such as minimum price for sex (never less than 100 taka), and minimum age to work (15). Condom use, they say, must be compulsory. It’s definitely a nice show of force, Democracy at its best, but a deceiving one as well. But customers seldom cover their penises with latex, and most prostitutes here started to work along with their first menstruation.

 

The brothel is an unlikely place for sex: a rundown concrete building where rats run free in rural Bangladesh. Small holes in the walls allow the only supply of natural light and air into the jail-like compound. Fluorescent bulbs hesitate to light up, and turn it into the ideal background for a horror blockbuster. Many boards show happy condoms trying to fight HIV with a broad smile, but the girls accept having sex without one if the customer insists. “There is no choice”, Lima says. And that’s why 70% of the girls are infected withsome kind of STD. 

 

Hasina served her first man when she was just 12. Like Lima and many others, rape was how she started. In the rigid Bengali society, shame cannot be washed. Stigma is forever. Now, she’s 40 and her price tag has fallen to a rock bottom 50 taka (70 cents.) per customer. That’s also the sum she has to pay, daily, for the rent of the bamboo hut where she works and lives.  "The situation is deteriorating. Prices for food and accommodation skyrocket, while people’s income remains stable. Those fishermen stopping by to have sex have less disposable money, and therefore we are living a crisis”.

Society has forced them to live in darkness; the lowest possible social statues. Men love them and hate them, demand their services while others tried to kill them. A contradiction which does not let them live.-Miguel Candela

Photo report's insight:

Miguel (Spain, 1985) specializes in the human drama of life – from the subtle to the extreme where humanity struggles to live off what is available, struggle against difficulties even the simple laughter brought by little to big things in life. He sees his works as an affirmation that "Every person has his or her individual unique history, every individual has an intriguing story to tell."

 

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Nothing To Hold On To | Photographer : G.M.B. Akash

Nothing To Hold On To | Photographer : G.M.B. Akash | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

Nearly three thousand kilometers of railroad tracks crisscross the delta lowlands of Bangladesh, connecting the capital, Dhaka, with Chittagong to the southeast and Calcutta to the southwest.  The system was built largely by the British and began operations in 1862, more than a hundred years before Bangladesh became an independent nation. Bangladeshi rolling stock now carries more than forty million passengers a year in three ticketed classes: air-conditioned, first, and second—and then there are the passengers who can’t pay. These riders, many of them daily commuters going to and from work, cling to handles, crouch in doorways, perch on the couplings between cars, and climb onto the roof. 

 

I live in Dhaka and began riding the rails with my camera in 2006. I wanted to draw attention to the danger the stowaways expose themselves to; gruesome accidents are routine for free riders. There is nothing to hold on to and it is very difficult to keep your footing. On a recent ride, I spoke to Majed Miya, a carpenter who has traveled on the roof for two decades. Miya said he enjoys riding on the roof: “no one really disturbs me there, except the fear of death.”

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