Posted: 17 Sep 2011 06:28 AM PDT Bangladesh has some pretty incredible places to explore when you really take the time to just walk. Everywhere I look on a daily basis I am constantly exposed the most interesting situations, people, things, and mentalities I have ever witnessed. What might seem backwards, foreign, or completely out of this world what the “cuss” just happened to most people, it’s one of those places where you need to constantly remind yourself to just take a step back and look past all the chaos. Usually when people hear the word “Bangladesh” they usually think of flooding, poverty, and the garment industry. As I said earlier, there are so many interesting things about this country and the working force here is probably at the top of list for most interesting particularly the shipping industry and how these ships are built, repaired and recycled. Now if you have never heard of the ship breaking yards of Chittagong you need to Google it and check it out. The Chittagong ship breaking yards are probably one of the hardest places right now to gain access to and photograph due to the exploitation of workers both adults and children, working conditions, health hazards, structural hazards, wages, and the list goes on. I am still trying to get access to the Chittagong breaking yards, but I need to get a visa extension before I commit as it’s taking more time than I thought. But as that is on hold right now, so until then, and with some luck, I have discovered and decided to photograph the ship building and repair yards in Old Dhaka.
After being here two months I have already encountered on several occasions minor difficulties getting access in to a few areas, however being granted access to the ship building and repair yards was like Christmas. One morning I woke up at 5am and headed towards old Dhaka just like you run downstairs to open your presents under the tree on Christmas morning. Arriving at 6am I started to wonder through the yards. When the first worker noticed me, it was a frenzy of smiles, broken English and Bengali from both sides and employees, engineers, and managers eagerly wanting to have cha (tea) with me. After a few laughs, multiple handshakes, simple hand gestures and 74 liters of cha later, anyone and everyone eagerly granted me complete freedom to photograph wherever and whatever I wanted.
This is a start to a new series and I hope you like the little taste I’m about to give you in this blog post.
Thank-you again for following and if you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.