As Drik as Possible

Introduction to the Drik 2016 calendar.

A behind the scenes glimpse at a remarkable media phenomenon:

The dot matrix Olivetti printer was noisy. The XT computer came without a hard drive: two floppy disks uploaded the operating system. When the electricity went (as it often did), we had to reload it. Our bathroom doubled as our darkroom. A clunky metal cabinet housed our prints, slides, negatives and files. Md. Anisur Rahman and Abu Naser Siddique were our printers; I was photographer, manager, copy editor and part-time janitor. Cheryle Yin-Lo, an Australian who had read about us in a western magazine, joined as our librarian. We offered and she happily accepted a local salary.

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Mishu in police custody

File photo of Moshrefa Mishu, president of Garment Workers Unity Forum.
File photo of Moshrefa Mishu, president of Garment Workers Unity Forum.

Moshrefa Mishu, president, Garments Sromik Oikko Forum, who was leading the fast-unto-death hunger strike of Tuba Group workers demanding 3 months arrear wages, festival allowance & overtime since July 28 was picked up by police today post-midday. She is being held by Detective Branch police at Minto Road. There is concern for her safety as?she has been remanded (Bangladeshi euphemism for police torture) earlier, and has narrowly escaped attempts on her life. Please raise your voice to demand her immediate release, and immediate payment of all workers’ dues.
Saydia Gulrukh (sitting) in Badda Thana where she was detained after being beaten by police and government thugs. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World
Saydia Gulrukh (sitting) in Badda Thana where she was detained after being beaten by police and government thugs. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Yesterday the 6th August, police and government goons carried out an unprovoked attack on garment workers and activists.
Armoured truck outside Tuba Garments
Armoured truck outside Tuba Garments. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

More?Photos at Tuba Garments
Related links:
Earlier updates on Mishu by Rahnuma Ahmed
Statement of protest for earlier arrest of Mishu
Earlier hospitalisation of Mishu after being beaten?by police
 

1134 – lives not numbers

A group exhibition dedicated to the lost garment workers of Bangladesh.

Photo: Taslima Akhter
Photo: Taslima Akhter

Still haunted by the memories. When I close my eyes I see the procession of corpses, following me behind, taunting my sense of responsibility. 24th April, 2013, Rana Plaza collapses, 1134 lost to senseless greed, lives lost due to collective negligence. A dark day in the history of garments workers lives, a nightmare which will terrorize us for the rest of our lives.? Amongst the rubble, hidden beneath the stones, beams and bricks, thousands of workers lie enveloped in darkness, their dreams crushed under the weight of our negligence.

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Silver threads, frayed seams

Until

Off to work, Mirpur, Dhaka. September 12, 2012. Photo ? AM Ahad
Off to work, Mirpur, Dhaka. September 12, 2012. Photo ? AM Ahad

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Activists Identify DC Cop Who Infiltrated Bangladesh Sweatshop Protests

by Mike Elk Common Dreams

Left: Still photo from a video of the May 15 protest at Children’s Place. Right: Photo from @snufftastic Twitter account.Rumors have flown for many years that DC police routinely infiltrate and spy on the frequent protests in the nation?s Capitol. But until now, activists have never been able to identify a specific undercover cop at a protest. Now, after months of piecing together evidence, attorneys Jeffrey Light and Sean Canavan working with?United Students Against Sweatshop?(USAS) have confirmed that under an assumed name, Metro police officer Nicole Rizzi has participated in USAS protests against companies doing business in Bangladesh who refuse to sign the?Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh?following the death of as many as 1,129 workers in the?Rana Plaza factory collapse. Continue reading “Activists Identify DC Cop Who Infiltrated Bangladesh Sweatshop Protests”

Wresting the Narrative From the West

By?JAMES ESTRIN?New York Times
As far as Shahidul Alam is concerned, he does not live in the third world or the developing world. While the photographer?s home is in Bangladesh, a decidedly poor country, he thinks of himself as residing in ?the majority world.?
Boy playing with home made ball, in shelter built for earthquake victims in Pakistan. ? Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World
Boy playing with home made ball, in shelter built for earthquake victims in Pakistan. ? Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Most people today do not live in Europe or North America, or have white skin. Yet the world?s economy and media are dominated by a handful of Western countries, and the reporting on developing nations is not always done by people who know their subjects well. Continue reading “Wresting the Narrative From the West”

After Disaster, Bangladesh Lags in Policing Its Maze of Factories

By?JIM YARDLEY New York Times
DHAKA, Bangladesh ? Not even two months after the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building claimed more than 1,100 lives, a team of engineers arrived to assess another factory in the center of the capital. It was named Al-Hamra Garments, and it was one of hundreds of factories undergoing post-disaster inspections as Bangladesh sought to prove that its critical apparel industry was safe.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/03/world/asia/bangladeshi-inspectors-struggle-to-avert-a-new-factory-disaster.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
The Al-Hamra Garments factory, with its exterior staircase, is one of many reported to have structural problems.?Khaled Hasan for The New York Times

The Al-Hamra Garments factory, with its exterior staircase, is one of many reported to have structural problems. But this inspection, conducted in mid-June, was startling. The two engineers discovered that the eight-story factory was partly propped up by temporary cast-iron pillars placed on the ground floor. Several original beams and columns were cracked or disintegrating. And the factory was open for business, with more than 1,000 workers producing clothing for a Bangladeshi apparel conglomerate whose customers include Walmart and Gap. Continue reading “After Disaster, Bangladesh Lags in Policing Its Maze of Factories”

Justice Still Elusive in Factory Disasters in Bangladesh

by Jim Yardley. The New York Times

DHAKA, Bangladesh ? Inside Courtroom 21, the two judges peered down from high wooden chairs as lawyers in formal black robes presented their motions. Activists and victims watched from the back. And a few steps away, a portly man with a thick black beard remained silent. He was the suspect. He did not seem especially nervous. Continue reading “Justice Still Elusive in Factory Disasters in Bangladesh”