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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.

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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.

Cuauhtepec: The Urban Blob

October 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Aerlal view of the border of Mexico CIty with the State of Mexico in Cuahutepec.

Cuauhtepec is one of Mexico City’s most densely populated areas, where the city’s urbanization has reached the border limit as it crawls up green hills once highly used for cultivation. On October 30, 2009 a great rainfall gravely affected the region, surrounded by the Sierra of Guadalupe causing one death and a great economic and urban loss to the lower ends of the areas as water descended at great speeds. The lack of trees along with the heavy impermeability of the soil in the hills of Mexico City are responsible for flash floods and inability of the city natural water deposits to be re-filled. A condition that normally takes 100 hundred years for water to reach these deposits.

Dhaka Mega City Post #19: Beggars at Eid ul-Fitr

August 29, 2010 Leave a comment
Today on my way to Mohammadpur I bumped into a crowd of beggars and poor stricken women crowded outside an upper middle class building. During the end of Ramadan, the tradition amongst those who can is to give a percentage of their wealth to the most needy. Inside the building I was able to see what is a common event but rarely seen, a woman was handing out 100 taka bills as the people outside fought in a moderate way to get in. Reminder 70 Tk = 1 USD

Dhaka Mega City Post #16: Friday Urban Prayers

August 27, 2010 Leave a comment

While monsoon rain falls in the neighborhood of Kallyanpur, where the urban development has been increasingly fast in an area formerly known for its many ponds only 25 years ago and now developed into one of the city’s most densely populated areas, Friday prayers are held inside a construction site next to a mosque.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The community males here must rush to the mosque if they want to pray inside, in a clean environment as the Koran suggests, due to the high population density.

Dhaka Mega City Post #18: Garment Workers

August 26, 2010 1 comment

A young woman sews in the dark at home in slum in Dhaka, during one of the many regular daily power outages the city suffers. She is working during her day off from the garment industry, to help ends meet and pay off family debts.

The garment industry of Bangladesh has been the key export division and a main source of foreign exchange for the last 25 years. At present, the country generates some $5 billion worth of products each year by exporting garment. The industry provides employment to over 3 million workers of whom 90% are women. Bangladesh-based factories make clothes for international brands such JCPenney, Wal-Mart, H&M, Marks & Spencer, Zara and Carrefour.

Violence has erupted in the Bangladeshi capital periodically this year as thousands of garment workers continue to protest over a government-backed wage increase that falls short of demands.
The minimum monthly wage was risen to 3,000 taka ($43), up from 1,662 taka. However, some labour unions are insisting and calling for a wage of 5,000 taka. After the end of Ramadan, the protests and demands are set to continue.

Dhaka Mega City Post #17: Farmgate, the Beggar and the Rain

August 25, 2010 Leave a comment

In a flash you could see the rain coming into the Farmgate neighborhood, one of the city’s central commerce areas. The water drove itself across the sky, across the road on to the pedestrian bridge. The people scrambled for shelter, the merchants covered their belongings, the beggar simply wetted it out.