Invitation as a special guest during the book launch and exhibition of ‘Survivors’ (accommodation, local transportation & traditional food at photographer’s place) + 2 copies of book ‘Survivors’ + a 20x30 signed print
Three days visit to Dhaka (field visit, accommodation, local transport & traditional food at photographer’s place), access to the survivors + 5 copies of book ‘Survivors’+ three 20x30 signed prints + copy of the first book ‘First Light’ (Limited to 2 backers)
Arafat, having run away from the Madrasa twice, is chained and kept in confinement during a lesson. Madrasas are often attached to mosques and form a major part of the national education system. Dhaka, Bangladesh
Amin Mia (32) has to breathe in aluminum, daily at least 10 hours. He earns 4000 tk a month by working in an Aluminum cooking pot factory. Dhaka. Bangladesh
Jainal works in a silver cooking pot factory. He is 11 years old. He has been working in this factory for three years starting at 9 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. For his work he gets ca 10 USD a month. Dhaka. Bangladesh
Rahman is beaten by the owner of a textile factory. Rahman is getting punished for the slow delivery of t-shirts. He earns $1 for ten hours of work per day. Dhaka. Bangladesh
2 years ago in Shamnagar, Sathkhira was affected by cyclon Aila. As a result all fields got salt contaminated. After this year’s rainy season the water had washed away the high salts level. Sathkhira, Bangladesh
Srilanka Yangani (73) is working as a day laborer. She has to work from sunrise to sunset. Though the hard work causes her illness she wishes to work till her last day. Philippines.
13 years old Kajol works in a Aluminum cooking pot factory in Old Dhaka. The children work 10 hour days in hazardous conditions, for a weekly wage of 200 taka (3 USD). Dhaka. Bangladesh.
In order to support their families, children work in brick fields carrying brick baskets the whole day. When the work ends, they collect coals from the same brick field for their families. Dhaka. Bangladesh
These are the hands of Alamin, an 11 years old brick field worker. Smoke & ashes cover Alamin’s whole body but despite the condition he often wears a smile on his face. Dhaka. Bangladesh
Shilu works separating sand and stone. At least 10,000 people, including 2,500 women and over 1,000 children, are engaged in stone and sand collection from the Bhollar Ghat on the banks of the Piyain River. Shylet, Bangladesh
Nodi (15), a bonded sex worker, was sold to a brothel in Faridpur by her stepmother. Many of the girls working in the brothel are given Oradexon, a steroid drug, considered to make them appear older as the law requires sex workers to be over 18. Bangladesh
Akash Image 12
Workers dismantle a huge ship and carry it off piece by piece at the ship-breaking yard in Gaddani, Pakistan.
Two workers take a short break while welding inside a ship's hull at the Gaddani ship-breaking yard in Gaddani, Pakistan.
A woman walks through the floodwaters near her village. Thousands of people were displaced in Shyamnagar Upazila, Satkhira district after Cyclone Aila struck Bangladesh in 2009, triggering tidal surges and floods.
Fed up with abusive husbands and corrupt officials, India's poorest women are uniting and fighting back. Their quest for justice is actually working. The "Pink Gang" fights for the rights of women and other marginalized people in rural India. Banda, India
A cataract patient is waiting eagerly to have his bandage removed & to see the world. This patient came from India for the cheaper & reliable treatment. Nepalganj, Nepal
Panga Lati (70) rests on a bed underneath a mosquito net at The Pashupati Bridhashram. The old people’s home is run by the government. It is congested, short staffed and shows signs of mismanagement. Katmandu. Nepal
Silpa (6) is standing in front of her shelter which is under threat of being taken away. High-rise buildings/hotels need to be constructed. Over 20,000 people live in small slum settlements like this all over Katmandu. Nepal
Bus driver Sobuj (23), is franticaly trying to stop a fire alone risking of his life. After the accidental death of a student of Jahangir Nagar University other students started setting cars on fire. Dhaka, Bangladesh
I have been doing my project “Survivors” for the last 10 years in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Pakistan, and Bhutan.
“Survivors” depicts the invincibility of the human spirit to survive against all odds. People who live on the edges of society have had a big impact on me and have been a great inspiration to me as a person and in my career. The existing social hierarchies have made me realize that those who live at the lowest rank on the economic ladder are the true survivors. These people are deprived of even the basic necessities of life, yet they manage to live each day with a smile on their faces. In the project, I trace the lives of those whose existence is based on serving others rather themselves. They have no means to break the vicious circle, which is infinitely imposed upon them like a curse.
As a photographer I feel it is my task to show the world those unseen realities and to shed light on what most of us never see with our own eyes. I want to show the things that shouldn’t be. For many years I have been working on child labor as part of this project. Children are selling their childhood for less than 1 dollar a day. In a balloon factory when an 8-year old balloon maker told me “I took some damaged balloons for my little sister, I have no time to play, and I have only time to support my parents” I realized I should show lives like hers. During the last 10 years I have gathered a collection of photographs depicting the wise, resigned, sad, and sometimes bewildered faces of children, sex worker, climate change survivors etc. Above all I have seen their struggles. But I also see the beauty of people and the human soul in the pictures I take. And though the circumstances of some of the people I portray may be grim, the people themselves are always remarkable characters.
When born in a poor country like mine people acquire the natural ability to fight against the odds. Surviving in a poor country facing adversity daily is like a lifetime tragedy. These images are stories of my own experiences, too. My journeys connect me to the many characters. Sometimes I had to run, take a ride in the top of the roof of a train, sleep on flooded floor. After reaching my protagonists and getting entry into their doors & being accepted all my work becomes worthwhile. If a single hand comes to give them shade that is the real purpose of my work.
I hope “Survivors” will be a strong medium to reach and touch people’s hearts. I have given many years of my life to this project and I feel that I have taken on a responsibility for the people I photograph. This project not only portrays them but also their circumstances. Their stories tell that they are fighting relentlessly without anything but a smile.
But more than just depicting their lives, my project also aims to help them. I have formed a small activist group with few friends & well-wishers. I personally make an effort to find the best ways to break the cycle of poverty. I have engaged in specific projects for certain groups: targeting one slum/brothel/rehabilitation centre and providing help for their long-term improvement. Activities include donating rickshaws to a community, sewing machines to brothels, providing knowledge for children.
25% of the selling price of the book will go directly to help run those ongoing attempts. I hope from my heart you will be able to contribute.
This project is in the making. As backer of this project you get exclusive access to the Making of Zone once the project is successfuly funded. Backers have access to the making of zone and receive real time updates from the
photojounalist on the ground. If you are not a backer yet, please fund 10$ or more to the project for your access.
Once this project is fully funded and the timeline to raise funds has expired, to making-of zone will be activated exclusively for the photojurnalist and the backers of this project.
GMB Akash is an award winning freelance photojournalist from Dhaka, Bangladesh. He has spent many years focusing on stories about sex workers, child labor, climate change and homeless people mostly in his home country and neighboring regions.
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