During an unprecedented attack like the one at Holey Artisan Bakery, crisis management is of utmost priority. Looking back, security forces did well to set up cordons to keep at bay meddlesome reporters. The subsequent media blackout, though late, was a good call and could feature in a standard operating procedure. In comparison with regional incidents, commandoes acted with reasonable urgency. However, medical evacuation appeared poorly managed and if not for the proximity of United Hospital, more lives may have been lost.
by Sabhanaz Rashid Diya
I have been playing the narrative repeatedly inside my mind. Many have written to me asking what can we collectively do. What makes a boy pick up a gun instead of protecting his friends when facing death? I am not a parent, but I can tell from my experiences while still gathering my thoughts. Continue reading “Drishtipat saved me from brainwashing”
By Adnan R Amin
So, a night of absolute terror preceded the glorified Night of Power this Ramadan. And it has left Dhaka in a stupor; in a dazed state of disbelief and heartbreak. There is talk of vengeance in the air; and there is the call to patience. There are defenses of creed and vilification of entire traditions. Continue reading “No Righteousness Without Mercy”
By Fardin Hasin for AlalODulal
In March 2016, a girl was brutally raped and murdered inside Comilla Cantonment. The crime was surrounded by a lot of mysteries, most of which are yet to be brought to light due to the authority’s unwillingness to do any proper investigation. People were quick to react; protests sprung up in both Dhaka and Comilla along with some other places. The hashtag #JusticeForX (I will not reveal her name here for reasons I am going to explain later) spread throughout Facebook; often complemented by cover photos depicting the words ‘Justice For X’ superimposed on the victim’s picture.
In the Dhaka of the 80s, there was a consensus regarding who its richest denizen was. At the rare, lavish weddings, my cousins and I would spot him, with his guards and his clan, and cower at the sight of the wealthiest man in Bangladesh. What it signified, we weren’t totally sure. My cousins could easily name his businesses in real estate, banking and construction. His creamy white Mercedes was instantly recognizable around Dhanmondi streets. In our fantasies, his children’s supposed diet of chocolates and cakes were the source of much envy. Continue reading “#RichKids in an Unlivable City”
রবি: আমাদের অশ্রু এতো শস্তা না
Irfanur Rahman for Alal O Dulal
A video titled ‘Language Matters’ has been making the rounds in Bangladeshi social-media circles. It explores the utility of Arabic warnings to ward off public urinators. The using of a religious misconception to prevent a social evil is clever. But what if it also reinforces and lends credence to that misconception?
Get me fact check! That’s no “teddy bear,” that’s Santa Slaus!
Continue reading “HNK # 1: Who killed Santa Claus? (Bert is Evil)”
“At this moment of masculinist and orgasmic expressions of hatred – communal, ethnic, sexist, partisan, and national – in both real and virtual world, cricket match in World Cup 2015 has become a rallying point of neo-nationalistic tyranny. In contrast to the dominating belief, sports has never been apolitical. Sometimes it becomes a space for solidarity and protest, at other times it becomes the weapons of domination and hegemonic control.” Continue reading “Cricket Nationalism: Mauka Mauka, 1971”
Crossing the Line
by Zaid Islam for The Independent
A photojournalist’s style of working inside the burn unit of DMCH has stirred up severe debate in the photojournalist community. Continue reading “Zaid Islam: Crossing the Line”
On the Burn Unit Photo Controversy
Interview with photographer Saiful Huq Omi
Published in Bengali on Priyo.com, translated for AlalODulal.org
“On February 8, the major dailies of Bangladesh published a report titled ‘Shooting at a Burn Unit,’ where it was reported that despite criticisms, photographic shooting took place in Dhaka Medical College and Hospital’s Burn Unit. Continue reading “Saiful Huq Omi: On Burn Unit Photo Controversy”
by Adnan R. Amin for AlalODulal.org
The works of Monajatuddin – the Minstrel Journalist – have had more of a shaping role in contemporary Bangladesh than that of many a politicians, development-pundits, editors or litterateurs. Take for example, the Child Marriage Restraint Act 2014, only recently okayed by the cabinet. It was Monajatuddin’s keen, investigative reporting on child marriage that informed and laid the groundwork for necessary social-debates and policy-making. Continue reading “Monajatuddin: The Minstrel Journalist”
Narcissism of Small Differences: Some Comments on the T20 Debate and on Nationalism in the Era of Neoliberal Globalization
by Humayun Kabir for Alal O Dulal
The ICC T20 World Cup Theme Song and the Opening Ceremony have generated sizable controversy over the past weeks. Continue reading “T20 Debate And Narcissism Of Small Differences”
by Nasrin Khandoker, translated by Hana Shams Ahmed for Alal O Dulal
“We need to get a grasp of which edge of the crater in the global imperialist politico-economic map we are situated, how and in what name we exist there. Who is constructed and presented in what role in the world theatre of Islamophobia. Continue reading “Eternal Othering and Presentation of Communalism on the World Stage”
The Road to Court 21
by Seema Amin for AlalODulal.org
“O bleating without wool! O Wound!” Lorca
Prologue: the incidental messenger
‘Now you say the income of the Adamjis, Dauds and Isphanis have increased by 40 % and the income of the s have decreased by 5 %, then you make an average and you get Per Capita Income and you say Honey and Money and Milk is Flowing in the Economy. What happens to Coliuddin, Soliuddin and Rohiuddin?‘ Continue reading “The Road to Court 21”
Photography’s elusive credit line, and should we pirate Photoshop?
by Naeem Mohaiemen for AlalODulal
Photography’s attribution has entered increasingly contested waters as the internet has made photo sharing ever easier. Continue reading “Photography’s elusive credit line; and, should we pirate Photoshop?”
“[The beauty] industry affects us all… It affects us in the workplace. It affects us as students, workers, mothers, and daughters. And that is why we expect a certain degree of responsibility from that industry, because they are well positioned to make a positive difference with the influence they wield; as they have the ‘power of capital’ to create “false needs”; as Marcuse said, “totalitarianism can be imposed without terror.”
Continue reading “Nadine Murshid: Beauty, Contest and Context”
The art of dehumanization
by Seema Amin
‘A door marked enemy and no one home.’ Tom Engelhardt.
‘If you repeat a lie enough times, it becomes the truth.’ Electra, my love (1974 Hungarian film).
It will not be too overcast to say the 21st century (Anno Domini, whose 12 years and some hundred days have passed) has thus far been the century of the “enemy-industrial complex”. Continue reading “Seema Amin: The art of dehumanization”
It is the state who needs the holy trinity of nation-nationality-nationalism and a common enemy
by Seuty Sabur
It has been nine years since I have stopped watching TV daily. I always find it unsettling, especially the talk shows. For me it seems more logical to follow the news online, check people’s reaction on social media. I can’t handle the TV for more than 10 minutes, even in the time of national/international ‘crises’. Continue reading “Seuty Sabur: It is the state who needs the holy trinity of nation-nationality-nationalism and a common enemy”
To BGMEA: How To Maintain Bangladesh’s Shining Image Abroad in Five Easy Steps
Guest Post by Shabnam Nadiya
1. Stop thinking that ‘compliance’ is a word to keep international buyers happy and begin to understand that it has to do with the safety of people. People like you and me. People whose labor creates that shining Bangladesh in the first place. People whose actual labor builds your fortunes. Continue reading “Shabnam Nadiya: To BGMEA, How To Maintain Bangladesh’s Shining Image Abroad in Five Easy Steps”
Daily Star has announced that FORUM, it’s long-running monthly magazine, will close down as a “cost-saving” measure. FORUM was originally published in the 1960s/70s, with an editorial board that included Hameeda Hossain, Rehman Sobhan, and others. It was revived in the 00’s with Zafar Sobhan as editor. For last few years, Kajalie Shahreen Islam is the editor. It is the country’s only monthly magazine of serious, long-form, non-fiction essays in English. Continue reading “Killing Print Culture: Must FORUM Die?”
“There are ten times as many people in an orphanage as there are on your friend list– don’t forget that.”
Can Bangla blogs grow up?
by Schwap Doo-wop Niel
I was on my way to Shahbag on a rickshaw today, when the rickshaw-drivers asked me,”Bhaia, if you don’t mind me asking … what is a ‘blogger’?”
I answered that bloggers are people who write stuff on computers.
Shubinoy Mustofi and J Rahman both write about economics. Reading them on how the foreigners have covered the Shahbag Awakening, I thought it would be interesting to analyse how the Economist has covered the event. Continue reading “Who is showing the Economist a black swan in Shahbagh?”
A line in the esteemed Jyoti Rahman’s otherwise excellent article made me sit up.
“…But to me, it is yet another case of the rest of the world caring little about Bangladesh. We really are not a country others particularly care about.” Continue reading “Shahbagh: the blind spot”
The Epic Kechal: The Hegemony of Prothom-alo and the Anti Establishment Group
by Zia Hassan
In Bangladesh politics, there is an interesting saying. If both the government and the opposition are criticizing you and then you must be doing something right. Prothom-alo continuously holds that enviable positioning in our society. But, it is not only the government and the opposition, Prothom-alo draws flack from all corners. The communist hate them, the people in military hate them, the mullah’s hate them, the liberals hate them. Continue reading “Epic Kechal 2: Alo vs Anti-Establishment”
Bangladesh is on the front page of the New York Times for the third time this year. All three stories have been on the garments industry. The previous two talked of opportunities and warned of dangers and exploitation in the industry. The latest one is, of course, after the fire. Reporting by Jim Yardley and Julfikar Ali Manik, photographs by Andrew Biraj and Khaled Hasan.