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Outside Chobi Mela VI: at an Eviction

January 26, 2011 Leave a comment

An elderly man gazes at the landscape where hundreds of homes including his own once stood only a few days ago. Hundreds of families have been evicted and left homeless within 30 minutes as their homes were demolished by independent developers working within the city authorities. Many  residents had been living here for over 30 years with little regard from the government city authorities. As Dhaka grows at an unprecedented rate all available land space is being used for high rises.

On my arrival I was guided to see a woman her son claimed to be 105 years old. I returned a week later to visit the camp and was told she had passed away.

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Outside Chobi Mela VI: Inside the Baitul Mukarram Mosque

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment

As Chobi Mela VI continues in Dhaka, we here present a visual series of images of the mass urbanization occurring in Dhaka and its consequences.

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Outside Chobi Mela VI: One Twin At a Bridge in Dhanmondi

January 25, 2011 1 comment

There are two twin brother beggars in Dhaka. They are well known due to the severity of their medical condition. Which I cannot recall, it is a respiratory disease. It is not TB. Both twins are bone thin, literally. A most hard scene to look at. They beg the streets of Dhanmondi, very often near the mosque. It is often a sad site as one sees the first and then shortly after you may find the second.

Begging in Dhaka is a controversial human situation. There are thousands of them, some say perhaps 50,000. Many believe the beggars are purposely mutilated by mafias. Others believe some of them to be even rich. I have a friend who claims he knows a beggar with a three story house in Dhaka. Yet, many give and believe they are doing the proper thing. Finally then there are those that in Bangladesh, like in so many other places, believe it is compassionate to give and that is what Mohammed spoke of.

Here lies one of the twins, on a famous bridge in Dhanmondi, under a torrential rainfall whom everyone scattered from. He remained and so did I, and I paid him. Yes, i paid him.

Outside Chobi Mela VI: Space and Islam

January 24, 2011 2 comments

As Chobi Mela VI continues in Dhaka, we here present a visual series of images of the mass urbanization occurring in Dhaka and its consequences.

Islam arrived in Bangladesh in the 13th Century. the Muslim population is now approximately 145.3 million, which is the fourth largest Muslim population in the world. Yet, many Bangladeshis converted to Islam from Hinduism as a means to escape the caste system and be equal among men. Illiteracy remains high in the country and is often the case the Koran is learnt through the memorization of the verses in Arabic, thus there is little knowledge that the Koran asks for prayers, especially Friday prayers as seen here, to be done in a cleanse environment. This practice of praying on the streets of Dhaka outside the mosques is quite common, as neighborhoods begin to overpopulate due to the increase in migrations into the urban areas and from the tremendous speed at which the city is growing, with construction work being done in all parts.

Outside Chobi Mela VI: at General Hospital

January 23, 2011 1 comment

As Chobi Mela VI continues in Dhaka, we here present a visual series of images of the mass urbanization occurring in Dhaka and its consequences.

The daughter and daughter-in-law of a woman pour bottled water for her to drink, as she lies ill in the corridor of the general hospital of Dhaka, with meningitis. She lies on the floor because the hospital, built by the British during colonial rule, now lies poorly kept to deal with the current overpopulation in the city. Hundreds of people lie in corridors, on balconies, under stairs and in exits awaiting treatment or being treated for days in these conditions.

Outside Chobi Mela VI: Eyes and Scars

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment

As Chobi Mela VI continues in Dhaka, we here present a visual series of images of the mass urbanization occurring in Dhaka and its consequences.

On the periphery of Dhaka, behind one of the Jatrabari Market the remains of a pond, once potable. As the city of Dhaka grows in population the need for urban housing does too. Nearly 300,000 to 400,000 people come to the city every year in search of income. Some stay temporarily, some sleep on the street but in the meantime thousands of high rises are being built for all classes. Dhaka suffers from one of the most polluted urban environments and with a low supply of drinking water. Yet the water table is very low below the ground surface. Dhaka used to be a city of fresh water ponds, as was once pictured here. Due to a lack of space in the city and the fast paced urban construction these ponds have been destroyed due to land fills. The irony lies in that as Bangladesh’s countryside slowly floods in the north and the south due to climate change,  Dhaka too will soon suffer more arriving water from the sea, making the already scarce water supply salty.

Outside Chobi Mela VI: Dhaka Sleepers

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Dhaka; Sleeper 05; Chobi Mela VI; Now in Dhaka go!

As Chobi Mela VIcontinues in Dhaka, we here present a visual series of images of the mas urbanization occurring in Dhaka and its consequences.

Hundreds of thousands of people sleep every night on the streets of Dhaka. They are not homeless. Well they are when the live and work in Dhaka. They come to the city for three, maybe four days and work until the have enough money to go home

Dhaka; Sleeper 07; Chobi Mela VI; Now in Dhaka go!