The magazine of the art-form of the photo-essay
June 2016 issue
by GMB Akash
A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous! Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
My project Survivors spans a 10-year-period and stretches across Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Pakistan and Bhutan. It depicts the invincibility of the human spirit to survive against all odds. “Survivors” focuses on the people at the bottom of societies – those who must struggle on a daily basis, simply to survive. People who live on the margins of society have had a big impact on me and have served as an inspiration for the photographic work I do.
Two child workers taking lunch in a factory. The only clean thing about these children is the lunch they are s eating. Dhaka, 2006.
From the vantage point of a fallen tree, Ariful Islam, a boy of around 14, surveys the flood waters that engulfed his village and the surrounding farmland. The whole region was hit by cyclone Aila, which devastated lives and livelihoods.
Many people could have lost everything in this fire if Sumon (27) had not jumped to stop the roaring flames all by himself. The site near the Buriganga River in central Dhaka has long been used as a dump for rubbish from the textile and other industries. It only took the dropping of a cigarette butt to produce a severe fire, engulfing the whole neighborhood of shacks and makeshift homes.Dhaka, Bangladesh
7 year old Jasmine collects garbage from a steaming Kajla rubbish pit on a cold winter morning. The dump is one of three landfill sites in this city of 16 million people. Around 5,000 tonnes of garbage are dumped here each day and over a thousand people work here, sorting through the waste and collecting items to sell to retailers for recycling. Dhaka, Bangladesh
A street child risks her life in busy traffic in an attempt to sell roses to drivers and passengers.
Fifteen year old Nodi is a bonded sex worker (Chhukri) in a brothel in Faridpur. She was sold to the brothel by her stepmother. Many of the girls working here are given the drug Oradexon, a steroid, by their madams. It is considered to make them appear older and thus avoid falling foul of a law that requires sex workers to be aged over eighteen. One of Oradexon’s many hazardous side effects is water retention, oedema, which can result in a ‘plump’ look that some men even find attractive.  Faridpur, Bangladesh.
Two labourers take a break from their work inside a ship’s hull at the Gaddani ship-breaking yard. Gaddani, Pakistan.
Panga Lati (70) is resting at The Pashupati Bridhashram, a home for poor elderly people in Kathmandu. There are 230 residents, 140 of them are women. Kathmandu, Nepal.
Faruk, a young boy carries his fishing net over wooden planks, a makeshift path enabling people to travel across the mud. Thousands of people were displaced in the villages around Shyamnagar Upazila after Cyclone Aila struck Bangladesh in 2009, triggering tidal surges from coming in from the Bay of Bengal and covering vast stretches of lowland in floods. Still, life went on in southern Bangladesh – and today Faruk is back to school. Satkhira District, Bangladesh.
No safety measures are in place, while this worker uses oxy-acetylene gases for welding at a steel recycling and re- rolling mill. These workers cannot afford to care for themselves by refusing to work in such dangerous conditions – which would mean throwing their families in utter peril. Dhaka, Bangladesh
Khairun Begum has been scavenging in this garbage dump yard for the past seven years, sometimes even carrying her children around the site. Abandoned by her husband and with four kids to feed, she endures this hard and health endangering work so that her family can survive. Still, she has not lost the hope to live a better life in the future. Dhaka, Bangladesh
Internet cables awaiting installation at Dhaka University provide a welcome and shady comfort for Majeda (48), a homeless woman. She has no work, but she still has the faith to fight on. But on that day, she was just thankful for the hightech-bed that was saving her from the ordeal of sleeping in the scorching heat of the open street. Dhaka, Banglades
Anwar (32) is another aluminium worker in a cooking pot factory. For at least ten hours a day he is covered from head to toe with metallic dust, a hardship that places 40 Taka (less than USD $1) per day in his pocket. Dhaka, Bangladesh.
This boy spends his long days in a manufacturing plant for cooking pots and earns approximately USD $10 per month. During work hours, Jewels skin colour becomes all silvery, glittering with the speckled aluminum dust. Dhaka.
Sewer cleaner Monu Lal stops his work for a breath of fresh air. Although they perform a necessary task, these people are looked down upon, are not respected and receive low wages for the dirty and thankless service they perform. Monu Lal exclaimed with sorrow that people look at him and his colleagues like they are the dirtiest part of society – even though in truth they are cleaning up people’s dirt. With their poor incomes these cleaners never get three meals in a day and have to work during religious holidays.
Amena Begum, a young girl fights her fright everyday to earn her daily bread. To reach her job as a housemaid, she has to travel between two compartments of the train because she cannot afford the regular fare.
This century-old building in outskirts of Dhaka does not harbour ghosts of the past, it shelters living and hopeful souls, braving life in the present. It’s a home to 80 families of sweepers - one of the most neglected and downtrodden communities despite providing an important service. Bangladesh
Everyday trains run with many people who fearlessly hang on in a dangerous journey. Crowded trains and the need to save money are motivations for risking one’s life for a breathtaking ride home at the end of the day. Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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A labourer stacks bricks in the belly of a greasy kiln of a brickfield on the outskirts of Dhaka. Like many others, he works in absence of safety measures, without a regular income and without any hope of compensation in case of an accident. These day-laborers normally do not get work every day in a week. Still, their families depend on their earnings and the workers take pride in being able to support their kin, somehow. Dhaka, Bangladesh.