Amartya Sen: India’s dirty fighter

Half of Indians have no toilet. It’s one of many gigantic failures that have prompted Nobel prize-winning academic Amartya Sen to write a devastating critique of India’s economic boom

The Guardian

The roses are blooming at the window in the immaculately kept gardens of Trinity College, Cambridge and Amartya Sen is comfortably ensconced in a cream armchair facing shelves of his neatly catalogued writings. There are plenty of reasons for satisfaction as he approaches his 80th birthday. Few intellectuals have combined academic respect and comparable influence on global policy. Few have garnered quite such an extensive harvest of accolades: in addition to his Nobel prize and more than 100 honorary degrees, last year he became the first non-US citizen to be awarded the National Medal for the Humanities.
An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions by Jean Dreze, Amartya Sen
But Sen doesn’t do satisfaction. He does outrage expressed in the most reasonable possible terms. What he wants to know is where more than 600 million Indians go to defecate.

“Half of all Indians have no toilet. In Delhi when you build a new condominium there are lots of planning requirements but none relating to the servants having toilets. It’s a combination of class, caste and gender discrimination. It’s absolutely shocking. Poor people have to use their ingenuity and for women that can mean only being able to relieve themselves after dark with all the safety issues that entails,” says Sen, adding that Bangladesh is much poorer than India and yet only 8% don’t have access to a toilet. “This is India’s defective development.”

Despite all the comfort and prestige of his status in the UK and the US – he teaches at Harvard – he hasn’t forgotten the urgency of the plight of India’s poor, which he first witnessed as a small child in the midst of the Bengal famine of 1943. His new book, An Uncertain Glory, co-written with his long-time colleague Jean Drèze, is a quietly excoriating critique of India’s boom.

It’s the 50% figure which – shockingly – keeps recurring. Fifty per cent of children are stunted, the vast majority due to undernourishment. Fifty per cent of women have anaemia for the same reason. In one survey, there was no evidence of any teaching activity in 50% of schools in seven big northern states, which explains terrible academic underachievement.

Despite considerable economic growth and increasing self-confidence as a major global player, modern India is a disaster zone in which millions of lives are wrecked by hunger and by pitiable investment in health and education services. Pockets of California amid sub-Saharan Africa, sum up Sen and Drèze.

The details are outrageous but the outlines of this story are familiar and Sen and Drèze are losing patience (they have collaborated on several previous books) and their last chapter is entitled The Need for Impatience. They want attention, particularly from the vast swath of the Indian middle classes who seem indifferent to the wretched lives of their neighbours. So they have aimed their critique at India’s national amour-propreby drawing unfavourable comparisons, firstly with the great rival China but even more embarrassingly with a string of south Asian neighbours.

indian slum
An Indian boy defecates in the open in one of New Delhi’s slums. Photograph: AP Photo/Kevin Frayer”

There are reasons for India to hang its head in shame. Alongside the success, there have been gigantic failures,” says Sen. He is making this critique loud and clear in the media on both sides of the Atlantic ahead of the book’s launch in India this week. “India will prick up its ears when comparisons with China are made, but the comparison is not just tactical. China invested in massive expansion of education and healthcare in the 70s so that by 1979, life expectancy was 68 while in India it was only 54.”

Sen and Drèze’s argument is that these huge social investments have proved critical to sustaining China’s impressive economic growth. Without comparable foundations, India’s much lauded economic growth is faltering. Furthermore, they argue that India’s overriding preoccupation with economic growth makes no sense without recognising that human development depends on how that wealth is used and distributed. What’s the purpose of a development model that produces luxury shopping malls rather than sanitation systems that ensure millions of healthy lives, ask Drèze and Sen, accusing India of “unaimed opulence”. India is caught in the absurd paradox of people having mobile phones but no toilets.

Even more stark is the comparison with Bangladesh. “Our hope is that India’s public policymakers will be embarrassed by the comparison with Bangladesh. On a range of development indicators such as life expectancy, child immunisation and child mortality, Bangladesh has pulled ahead of India despite being poorer.’

What makes this comparison so powerful is that Bangladesh has targeted the position of women not just through government policy but also through the work of non-governmental organisations such as BRAC and the Grameen Bank. As a result, there have been astonishing successes, says Sen, such as a dramatic fall in fertility rate and girls now outnumbering boys in education. All this has been achieved despite having half the per capita income of India.

Other impoverished neighbours such as Nepal have made great strides, while even Sri Lanka has kept well ahead of India on key indicators despite a bitter civil war for much of the last 30 years. Drèze and Sen conclude in their book that India has “some of the worst human development indicators in the world” and features in the bottom 15 countries, along with Afghanistan, Yemen and Pakistan. Seven of the poorest Indian states account for the biggest concentration of deprivation on the globe.

India, Kathputli
Street scene in Delhi’s Kathputli colony, where the houses have no running water, electricity or sanitation. Photograph: Donatella Giagnori/LatinContent/Getty Images

After this blizzard of facts and figures – and the book is stuffed with them – one might fear reader despair, but the reverse is true. This is a book about what India could do – and should do. Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh are held up as good examples of how social investments from the 60s to the 80s have reaped dividends in economic growth. What holds India back is not lack of resources but lack of clear-sighted, long-term policies and the political will to implement them. Sen (still an Indian citizen) is optimistic, pointing to the political mobilisation following the rape of a young woman student on a bus in Delhi last December, which led to the rapid adoption of new measures to combat violence against women. The consciences of the Indian middle classes can be stirred, and, when they are, political action follows.

But he admits “intellectual wonder” at how it is that more people can’t see that economic growth without investment in human development is unsustainable – and unethical. What underpins the book is a deep faith in human reason, the roots of which he traces to India’s long argumentative tradition going as far back as the Buddha. If enough evidence and careful analysis is brought to bear on this subject then one can win the argument, and it is this faith that has sustained him through more than five decades of writing on human development. It was his work which led to the development of the much cited UN’s Human Development Index.

Influential he has certainly been, but he acknowledges he still hasn’t won the argument. To his dismay, there are plenty of examples where people seem set on ignoring the kind of evidence he stacks up; in passing he asks: “How can anyone believe austerity with high levels of unemployment is intelligent policy for the UK?”

He laughingly comments that colleagues say his thinking hasn’t evolved much, but he dismisses the idea of being frustrated. All he will concede is the astonishing admission that he wishes someone else had written this book on India. “There are a number of problems in philosophy which I would have preferred to tackle – such as problems with objectivity. But this book had to be written. I want these issues heard.”

He says that the Nobel prize and the National Medal from President Obama may be “overrated” but they give him a platform, and he unashamedly uses it – giving time to media interviews and travelling all over the world to deliver speeches. That has led to compromises on the intellectual projects he would have liked to pursue, but life has been full of compromises ever since he narrowly survived cancer as an 18-year-old: there are all kinds of food he cannot eat as a result.

He is an extraordinary academic by any account – a member of both the philosophy and the economics faculties at Harvard – and is helping to develop a new course on maths while supervising PhDs in law and public health. He has plans for several more books and no plans to slow down. Mastery of multiple academic disciplines is rare enough but it’s the dogged ethical preoccupation threading through all his work that is really remarkable. None of the erudition is used to intimidate; he is always the teacher.

Some argue that Sen is the last heir to a distinguished Bengali intellectual tradition that owed as much to poets as it did to scientists, politicians and philosophers. Sen is the true inheritor of Rabindranath Tagore, the great poet and thinker of the early decades of the 20th century. A family friend, he named Sen as a baby; the only photograph in Sen’s Cambridge study is that of the striking Tagore with his flowing white beard.

But on one issue Sen admits he now parts company with Tagore, and instead he quotes Kazi Nazrul Islam, Bengal’s other great poet who became an iconic figure for the nation of Bangladesh. Tagore was too patient; Nazrul was the rebel urging action. And he repeats a quote he uses in the book: “Patience is a minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.” He wants change and that means he is about to embark on a demanding tour of Indian cities to promote the book. The doctors have told him that if he slows down it will be irrevocable, so he’s decided not to. Retirement is not an option.

The Charitable-Industrial Complex

By PETER BUFFETT The opinion pages New York Times

I HAD spent much of my life writing music for commercials, film and television and knew little about the world of philanthropy as practiced by the very wealthy until what I call the big bang happened in 2006. That year, my father, Warren Buffett, made good on his commitment to give nearly all of his accumulated wealth back to society. In addition to making several large donations, he added generously to the three foundations that my parents had created years earlier, one for each of their children to run.

‘Already Flown’ by Peter Buffett  a related song written by Peter Buffett. Continue reading “The Charitable-Industrial Complex”

Establishment Earthquaker

By Manik Katyal Emaho Magazine

Emaho got into a free-wheeling tête-à-tête with the legendary award-winning Bangladeshi photographer, Shahidul Alam to pry beyond his politics

Manik: In all your past interviews, you have mentioned how photography happened to you, so I will not ask that question, but what is photography for you? And your relationship with politics?

Shahidul: I am a very political animal and the reason I took up photography was because of my political position. Being concerned about the social situation in my country and globally, I happened to stumble into photography and discovered what a powerful tool it was; which happens to be the only reason why I practice it. I am fond of photography, I enjoyed images but at the end of the day that for me is not the point of the exercise. I continued to use photography in whatever way I can. Largely because, I see the strength of the medium and I recognise the potential. Having said that I think – I have said this before – that if tomorrow it ceases to effective, I’ll have no qualms about giving it up and taking something new.


Continue reading “Establishment Earthquaker”

No religion is higher than humanity

Abdul Sattar Edhi

The most remarkable man I’ve ever met. If ever a man deserved a Nobel Prize… but then he’s a bearded muslim from Pakistan, so Kissinger and Obama and Peres will be given the Nobel Prize, but Edhi will not. Neither of course did Gandhi!
Pakistan: Hope amidst the chaos
What Matters
Humanitarian to a nation

Wresting the Narrative From the West

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”

9th ASEF Journalists? Colloquium: New Delhi

The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) is organising the 9th ASEF
Journalists? Colloquium, which will be held in New Delhi (Gurgaon),
India from?9-11 November 2013.
We are pleased to invite interested journalists from ASEM countries to apply for participation. To apply, more information can be found
Travel subsidies to and from New Delhi and accommodation will be
provided by the organisers for successful participants. Continue reading “9th ASEF Journalists? Colloquium: New Delhi”

‘পরপর দু’বার বাংলাদেশ জয়ী হলো, হ্যাট্রিকের আশায় থাকি’

ডয়চে ভেলের সেরা অনলাইন অ্যাক্টিভিজম অ্যাওয়ার্ড ‘দ্য বব্স’-এর বাংলা ভাষার বিচারক ড. শহীদুল আলম৷ অন্যান্য ক্ষেত্রের মতো এখানেও তাঁর সাফল্য কম নয়৷ তাই হ্যাট্রিকের অপেক্ষা করতেই পারেন শহীদুল৷

ডয়চে ভেলের সেরা ব্লগ অনুসন্ধান বা সেরা অনলাইন অ্যাক্টিভিজম অ্যাওয়ার্ডের সংক্ষিপ্ত নাম ‘দ্য বব্স’৷ এই প্রতিযোগিতায় বর্তমানে অংশ নেন বিশ্বের ১৪টি ভাষার ব্লগার, অ্যাক্টিভিস্টরা৷ পাশাপাশি বিভিন্ন সামাজিক উদ্যোগেরও অংশ নেওয়ার সুযোগ রয়েছে৷ প্রতিযোগিতাটি পুরোপুরি আন্তর্জাতিক৷ আর এই আন্তর্জাতিক প্রতিযোগিতায় বাংলা ভাষার অর্জন বেশ ঈর্ষনীয়৷

২০০৯ সালে দ্য বব্স-এ অংশ নেওয়ার পর ২০১২ সালে বিভিন্ন ভাষার প্রতিযোগীর সঙ্গে লড়াই করে রিপোর্টার্স উইদাউট বর্ডার্স অ্যাওয়ার্ড জয় করেন আবু সুফিয়ান৷ বার্লিনে বিভিন্ন ভাষার জুরি সদস্যদের বৈঠকে ভোটের মাধ্যমে এই সম্মাননা অর্জন করেন তিনি৷ প্রতিযোগিতায় ছয়টি আন্তর্জাতিক মিশ্র বিভাগের একটিতে বাংলা ভাষার জুরি অ্যাওয়ার্ড ‍অর্জন সেটাই প্রথম৷

২০১৩ সালের জুরি অ্যাওয়ার্ড জয় করেছে বাংলাদেশের তথ্যকল্যাণী প্রকল্প

এখানে বলে রাখা ভালো, এই প্রতিযোগিতায় বাংলা ভাষার পাশাপাশি রয়েছে ফার্সি, আরবি, চীনা, রাশিয়ান, জার্মান, ইংরেজির মতো ভাষা৷ এসব ভাষায় বিভিন্ন ধরনের, গঠনের ব্লগ রয়েছে৷ বিষয়বস্তুও বিস্মৃত৷ আন্তর্জাতিক পরিমণ্ডলে এসব ভাষার গুরুত্বও আলাদা৷ তা সত্ত্বেও দ্বিতীয় সাফল্য অর্জনে খুব একটা সময় নেয়নি বাংলা ভাষা৷ বরং ২০১৩ সালের প্রতিযোগিতায় ‘গ্লোবাল মিডিয়া ফোরাম’ বিভাগে জুরি অ্যাওয়ার্ড জয় করেছে বাংলাদেশের তথ্যকল্যাণী প্রকল্প৷ জার্মানির রাজধানী বার্লিনে গত ৪ঠা মে অনুষ্ঠিত এক বৈঠকে বিচারকদের ভোটে জয়ী হয় এই প্রকল্প৷

বার্লিনের বৈঠকে বাংলা ভাষার বিচারক হিসেবে হাজির ছিলেন প্রখ্যাত আলোকচিত্রী, ব্লগার ড. শহীদুল আলম৷ তথ্যকল্যাণীসহ বাংলা ভাষার অন্যান্য প্রকল্প এবং ব্লগ সম্পর্কে বৈঠকে সবাইকে জানিয়েছেন তিনি৷ তথ্যকল্যাণী প্রকল্পের সাফল্যের পর ডয়চে ভেলেকে শহীদুল বলেন, ‘‘বাংলাদেশের একটি প্রকল্প পুরস্কার পেয়েছে, তাতে তো মজা পাবোই৷ তথ্যকল্যাণীরা তথ্যপ্রযুক্তির বিভিন্ন সুবিধা প্রান্তিক জনগোষ্ঠীর কাছে পৌঁছে দিচ্ছেন৷’’

জুরিদের মধ্যে আসিফের ব্লগ নিয়েও বেশ আলোচনা হয়েছে

তবে শুধু তথ্যকল্যাণী নয়, বাংলা ভাষার একজন ব্লগারও আলোড়ন তুলেছিলেন জুরিমণ্ডলীর বৈঠকে৷ গত জানুয়ারি মাসে দুর্বৃত্তের হামলার শিকার এবং বর্তমানে কারাবন্দি ব্লগার আসিফ মহিউদ্দীনের অবস্থা নিয়ে বিস্তর আলোচনা হয়েছে বৈঠকে৷ দ্য বব্স প্রতিযোগিতার ‘রিপোর্টার্স উইদাউট বর্ডার্স’ বিভাগে এ বছর বাংলা ভাষার প্রতিদ্বন্দ্বী ছিলেন আসিফ৷ জুরি বৈঠকের প্রাথমিক পর্বে সবচেয়ে বেশি ভোট নিয়ে এগিয়ে গেলেও চূড়ান্ত ভোটাভুটিতে হেরে যান তিনি৷ এই প্রসঙ্গে শহীদুল বলেন, ‘‘রিপোর্টার্স উইদাউট বর্ডার্স যে বিষয়গুলো নিয়ে কাজ করে, সেটা ভাবলে আসিফেরই পুরস্কার পাবার কথা৷ তবে এটা ঠিক, গতবছরও আমরা এই বিভাগে পুরস্কার পেয়েছিলাম এবং সামগ্রিকভাবে পরপর দু’বছর একই দেশকে পুরস্কার দেওয়ার ব্যাপারে একটি ইতস্ততা হয়ত ওদের ছিল৷ এছাড়া, এটা না পাওয়ার কোনো কারণ ছিল না৷’’

প্রসঙ্গত, ডয়চে ভেলের প্রতিযোগিতায় এ বছর মনোনয়ন জমা পড়ে চার হাজারের বেশি৷ এ সব মনোনয়নের দিকে নজর দিলে বিভিন্ন দেশের ব্লগের মধ্যে মৌলিক পার্থক্যগুলো বেশ চোখে পড়ে৷ ব্লগের বিষয় বৈচিত্র এবং উপস্থাপনের দিকটি বিবেচনা করলে অন্যান্য ভাষার তুলনায় বাংলা ভাষা এখনো বেশ খানিকটা পিছিয়ে রয়েছে৷ ডয়চে ভেলেকে দেওয়া সাক্ষাৎকারে এই বিষয়টির দিকেও দৃষ্টি আকর্ষণ করেন শহীদুল৷ তিনি বলেন, ‘‘বিষয়ের দিক থেকে না হলেও প্রযুক্তিগত দিক থেকে আমরা পিছিয়ে আছি৷ আমার মনে হয় ব্লগের ডিজাইনের ক্ষেত্রে, ছবি ব্যবহারের ক্ষেত্রে, ভিডিও ব্যবহারের ক্ষেত্রে আমরা কিছুটা পিছিয়ে আছি৷ তবে আমি আশা করি, সামনে ব্লগাররা সেগুলোকে গুরুত্ব দেবেন৷’’

উল্লেখ্য, শহীদুলের নেতৃত্বে দ্য বব্স প্রতিযোগিতায় পরপর দু’বার আন্তর্জাতিক বিভাগে জুরি অ্যাওয়ার্ড জয় করেছে বাংলা ভাষা৷ দ্য বব্স-এর ইতিহাসে খুব কম ভাষাই এমন সাফল্য অর্জন করতে পরেছে৷ আগামী বছর আন্তর্জাতিক এই প্রতিযোগিতার দশ বছর পূর্ণ হবে৷ শহীদুলের আশা, আগামীতেও জুরি অ্যাওয়ার্ড অর্জনে সক্ষম হবে বাংলা ভাষা৷ তিনি বলেন, ‘‘পরপর দু’বার বাংলাদেশ জয়ী হলো, (এবার) হ্যাট্রিকের আশায় থাকি৷’’

সাক্ষাৎকার: আরাফাতুল ইসলাম, বার্লিন

সম্পাদনা: দেবারতি গুহ

বাংলাদেশি তথ্যকল্যাণীদের বিশ্বজয়

তথ্যকল্যাণী – প্রত্যন্ত অঞ্চলের সুবিধাবঞ্চিত মানুষদের বিভিন্ন সেবা প্রদান করেন তাঁরা৷ চলতি বছর ডয়চে ভেলের সেরা অনলাইন অ্যাক্টিভিজম অ্যাওয়ার্ড ‘দ্য বব্স’-এর একটি বিভাগে জুরি অ্যাওয়ার্ড জয় করেছেন তথ্যকল্যাণীরা৷ (07.05.2013)

ডয়চে ভেলের ‘বেস্ট অফ ব্লগস’ প্রতিযোগিতায় গোটা বিশ্বের সেরা ব্লগারদের বেছে নিলেন আন্তর্জাতিক বিচারকমণ্ডলীর ১৫ জন সদস্য৷ বিচারকাজ সম্পন্ন হয় ডয়চে ভেলের বার্লিন অফিসে৷ এ বছর ৪,২০০-রও বেশি প্রস্তাব জমা পড়েছিল৷ (07.05.2013)

এই বিষয়ে অডিও এবং ভিডিও

German Development Media Awards

The German Development Media Awards recognize excellence in human rights and development journalism. The awards champion independent media across the world and put the spotlight on journalists telling important stories affecting their communities, countries and regions.
These awards are a new initiative by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Germany’s international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle. Continue reading “German Development Media Awards”

Lokkhi Terra and The Che Guevara's Rickshaw Diaries

2012 began with Lokkhi Terra performing at Drik. The group has performed all around the world at venues such as Ronnie Scotts, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, the House of Commons, Glastonbury and at Womad.? They were one of the critics? choices at this year?s Womad festival in the UK, and was the band chosen to perform at the closing ceremony of the South Asian Games 2010.
Lokkhi Terra?s two albums?No Visa Required,?and?Che Guevara?s Rickshaw Diaries, received much critical acclaim around the world.

Photo Of Lokkhi Terra

From?Bangladesh,?Cuba,?Turkey,?United Kingdom
Open-eared and well-travelled world/jazz fusion
The music of Lokkhi Terra isn’t for those who don’t travel well, while those with strong wanderlust in their bones are advised to strap themselves in. The sound of this London-based, multi-membered collective zigzags all over the map. Their point of departure appears to be jazz fusion, but from here they touch down in the streets of Bangladesh, the Afrobeat clubs of Nigeria, the cantinas of Cuba and the beaches of Brazil. Such eclecticism might suggest a disjointed jumble, a sound dreamed up by committee. But in Lokkhi Terra’s care, it all makes utter and perfect sense, a seamless collage of some of the best noises this planet’s ever made. And they’re a bunch keen on album titles that sum up their modus operandi. Last year’s No Visa Required emphasised their border-busting sound, while their forthcoming record also gives a hint of their influences and inspirations: it’s called Che Guevara’s Rickshaw Diaries.
(Biography written by Nige Tassell 2011)
They have all performed around the world at venues such as Ronnie Scotts, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, the House of Commons, Glastonbury and at Womad.? They were one of the critics? choices at this year?s Womad festival in the UK, and was the band chosen to perform at the closing ceremony of the South Asian Games 2010.
Lokkhi Terra?s two albums?No Visa Required,?and?Che Guevara?s Rickshaw Diaries, received much critical acclaim around the world.
The combined sonic forces usually transform a quiet room into one which has people clapping and swaying within minutes and Khan is hoping for a similar reaction in India. Times of India.
Lokkhi Terra will be playing?23rd of January at Blue Frog Delhi and on the 24th January at Blue Frog Mumbai.
Lokkhi Terra is led by the Bangladeshi Kishon Khan

Kisho Khan
Kisho Khan?Pianist/Composer/Arranger/Producer

Here is what people have said about him:
?Kishon Khan leant back from his keyboards with the glee of a man driving a super-car, and played as if distilling the entire 1970s work of Herbie Hancock into a high-octane drive in the country, as congas bounced and brass slid around him…?
?A formidable jazz pianist? Simon Broughton, Evening Standard
? Highly innovative, a key figure in the British Bangla-Afro-Cuban-Jazz circle? Agogo Records
?Exceptional? ? Movimientos
Kishon Khan is a classically trained pianist, born in Bangladesh, and brought up and living in London. He is widely regarded as one of the most versatile players on the scene today ? sessioning across the genres whilst also being at the heart of some of London?s most critically acclaimed bands. He has lived, studied and worked in countries a far afield as Cuba, Brazil, South Africa, and of course Bangladesh, and this is reflected in the diversity of his musical works/collaborations.
Lokkhi Terra is developing the theme music for Chobi Mela VII, the international festival of photography, held in Dhaka.
The year sadly ended with the attack at Ramu, the devastating fire at Tazreen Fashions and the brutal assassination in broad daylight of Biswajit Das. While both parties wax lyrical on their successes at the talk shows, the real heroes of Bangladesh continue to be the farmer in the field, the migrant workers and the garment workers who pay for the lavish lifestyles of the Tri State residents of Gulshan, Baridhara and Banani. Let’s take time to remember some of the other Bangladeshis who have made us proud. Some of them young like the choreographer Akram Khan and the writer Tahmima Anam the cricketer Shakib Al Hasan, the educationist Salman Khan and others more senior like the elephant in the room whom we are not allowed to mention, Muhammad Yunus.
Please Retweet #bangladesh #muhammadyunus #tahminaanam #akramkhan #shakibalhasan #salm

When Interest Creates a Conflict

By JAMES ESTRIN: New York Times Lensblog
Like most photographers in conflict zones, Stanley Greene has spent a lot of time with nongovernmental organizations, befriending aid workers who dealt with war, famine and refugees. They not only shared the same concerns as he, but also made it possible for him to gain access to the crisis zones.
Mr. Green traveled to Dhaka, Bangladesh, in July 2011, to photograph a hospital operated by M?decins Sans Fronti?res (M.S.F.), a group that photographers often accompany while on editorial assignment. But even though he was shooting many of the same things he had often photographed ? and in similar ways ? this felt different. This time, M.S.F. was paying him to photograph, as part of its Urban Survivors project. Continue reading “When Interest Creates a Conflict”