Drik: Murder not tragedy / Tragedi Noi Hottakando

© Suvra Kanti Das  Missing poster at Adhar Chandra school wall. Name: Ashma Aktar from Khulna.

© Suvra Kanti Das
Missing poster at Adhar Chandra school wall. Name: Ashma Aktar from Khulna.

Murder not tragedy
A project at Drik Gallery

An exhibition of observations, both witnessed and imagined of the rana plaza collapse.

24th April, 2013. 1127 garment workers perished in the collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar. Excluding natural disasters this is the single largest cause of death, post-independence. Hundreds of workers have been injured. Hundreds still missing.

The rescue operation at Rana Plaza continued for 21 days. The loved ones of the victims held their vigil without respite, twenty four hours a day, scrambling from Odhor Chondro Park to Enam Clinic, to the morgue and back. As tiring bodies wore down, they slept in nearby coffins. It is of course a tragedy of enormous proportions, but by calling it a tragedy, we are shielding the guilt. Making it appear as if no one was to blame. That this is the destiny of the poor and the downtrodden. Is that how it was?

The history of the garment industry in Bangladesh is littered with incidents of fire and collapsed buildings. 27 workers were trampled to death in Sharaka Garments in 1990, while trying to flee a fire. There have been many deaths since, some through faulty construction, some due to the absence of fire exits. The fire in Lucas Garments took away 10 lives in 1995. 14 died in Suntex Garments in 1996. 22 in Rahman and Rahman Garments in 1997. Another 27 in Tamanna Garments the same year. We lost 53 in Chowdhury Knitwear Limited in 2000. It is a longer list including the recent fire in Tazreen Fashions, with Rana Plaza being the latest addition.

Drik had invited photographers, activists and other artists to submit work and register their protest. Their observations, recorded and imagined, form the basis of this exhibition. Murder, not tragedy.

The exhibition “Tragedi Noi Hottakando” was opened at Drik Gallery today Friday, 31 May 2013 at 5 pm. The exhibition will continue till 5 June 2013. Please get your friends, family and clients to come and voice their support. This cannot, must not, go on.

© Tushikur Rahman Aroti,18, was working on the 6th floor. She was rescued after 2 days of the building collapse. The rescuer had to cut her right leg to get her out of the building. Her mother and father were also working in the same building. Her mother 'Titon'' died and her body was rescued on the first night and her father 'Odhir Dash'' got rescued on the first night of the incident.

© Tushikur Rahman
Aroti,18, was working on the 6th floor. She was rescued after 2 days of the building collapse. The rescuer had to cut her right leg to get her out of the building. Her mother and father were also working in the same building. Her mother ‘Titon” died and her body was rescued on the first night and her father ‘Odhir Dash” got rescued on the first night of the incident.

© Ismail Ferdous/AP She came to find her sister's dead body after 10 days of Rana Plaza Garments Factory collapsedFriday May 3, 2013 in Savar near Dhaka, Bangladesh. More than 500 bodies have been recovered from the Bangladesh garment-factory building that collapsed last week, authorities said Friday after arresting an engineer who warned the building was unsafe but is also accused of helping the owner add three illegal floors to the structure

© Ismail Ferdous/AP
She came to find her sister’s dead body after 10 days of Rana Plaza Garments Factory collapsedFriday May 3, 2013 in Savar near Dhaka, Bangladesh. More than 500 bodies have been recovered from the Bangladesh garment-factory building that collapsed last week, authorities said Friday after arresting an engineer who warned the building was unsafe but is also accused of helping the owner add three illegal floors to the structure

© Taslima Akhter  Parents just found dead body of their daughter.

© Taslima Akhter
Parents just found dead body of their daughter.

© Sajid Hossain The picture is taken at the early morning of 29 April 2013 from behind the collupse building Rana Plaza. Saver, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Date: 29.04.2013

© Sajid Hossain
The picture is taken at the early morning of 29 April 2013 from behind the collupse building Rana Plaza. Saver, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Date: 29.04.2013

© Ashraful Huda  Flies over a rotten dead body which is recovered on the fourth day from the rubble of Rana Plaza at Savar.

© Ashraful Huda
Flies over a rotten dead body which is recovered on the fourth day from the rubble of Rana Plaza at Savar.

© Abir Abdullah/ European Pressphoto Agency A fireman attempts to extinguish a fire at Kung Keng textile factory. Unsafe working conditions have led to repeated accidents. Export Processing Zone, Dhaka. 26 August 2005

© Abir Abdullah/ European Pressphoto Agency
A fireman attempts to extinguish a fire at Kung Keng textile factory. Unsafe working conditions have led to repeated accidents. Export Processing Zone, Dhaka. 26 August 2005

© Drik

© Drik

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© Drik

7L0A1560

© Drik

3 thoughts on “Drik: Murder not tragedy / Tragedi Noi Hottakando

  1. মোরা একটি ফুলকে বাঁচাবো বলে যুদ্ধ করি, মোরা একটি মুখের হাসির জন্য অস্ত্র ধরি… আমাদের সময় শেষ হয়ে যাবে কিন্তু আমরা প্রতিবাদের পর প্রতিবাদ করে যাবো, এই অঙ্গিকারাবদ্ধ হই… প্রতিবাদকে তুমুল করে তুলতে হবে… অনেক বেশি কষ্ট সহ্য করে ফেলেছে আমার শ্রমিক ভাই বোনেরা, তাদেরকে বাঁচানোর জন্য আমাদের উদ্বুদ্ধ করে তোলার জন্য ধন্যবাদ।

  2. I understand the pain, the anguish, the wrath of people associated with the Rana Plaza incident. However, labeling this “Murder” is going overboard. Murder is murder, and accidents are accidents. We can blame those men for neglecting their duty to provide a safe working environment for workers but we can’t call them murderers. That’s letting an emotion go too far.

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