Social Media

Thursday, September 17, 2015

"I still feel the roof crashing over me." -- After Rana Plaza

September 17, 2015

Ending this Sunday, September 20th, is a photo exhibit from Bangladesh as part of the Photoville project in Brooklyn Bridge Park. It documents the aftermath of the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster and the ongoing experiences for victims, families and the community. With each photograph comes a carefully documented account connecting the image to the collapse.  The pictures are striking, tragic and touching yet vivid and beautiful.  One of the organizers, Thahitun Mariam, graciously answered several questions about the exhibit.

Update:  If you click on the picture you will be linked to the corresponding story.

Bill:  What is "After Rana Plaza?"

Thahitun:  After Rana Plaza" is a year-long documentary photography project to shed light on the lives of people who remain deeply impacted by one of the world's deadliest industrial catastrophes. It is a collaborative project between Bangladeshi photographer Ismail Ferdous and The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  

Bill:  How did you get involved?

Thahitun:  I am involved with "After Rana Plaza" because I was one of the main content writers for the stories being told. The interviews and photographs are captured by Ismail Ferdous, and then sent to us writers to understand and explain the narratives of many people who were involved in the collapse - whether it be the survivors themselves, or the organizations that are working to provide services to them even till now.

Bill:  What are some of the more memorable stories to come out of the exhibit.

Thahitun:  Visit the web site here. Feel free to shift through the pictures to get a better idea of the stories being told.

Bill:  When and where can people see the exhibit?

Thahitun:  "After Rana Plaza" is being exhibited during the Photoville festival which happens yearly in Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York City. It is happening from September 10, 2015 — September 20, 2015. The Hours of Operation for the festival can be found on the Photoville website.

Bill:  If someone wants to get involved with your project in one way or another, what should they do?

Thahitun:  They can get involved with the "After Rana Plaza" project by emailing us at

Bill:  What have you learned from organizing photography exhibits such as this one that you can pass on to others who might want to do something similar?

Thahitun:  From my experience working with "After Rana Plaza" we have realized that it is always best to have a vision and work towards it slowly. "After Rana Plaza" is a vision of Ismail Ferdous's to follow up and tell the stories of people who may otherwise be forgotten. As a writer, it is important for me to provide dignity and honor to the stories being told as stories of survival, and not as tales of defeat. "After Rana Plaza" was approached to be exhibited during Photoville since Ismail Ferdous and his work was selected as one of the three recipients of the first Getty Images Instagram Grants.

My thanks again to Thahitun for taking the time to answer my questions.  If you miss the last few days of the exhibit be sure to check it out online at the official page for After Rana Plaza where you can click on pictures for their story.  You can also go learn more about photographer Ismail Ferdous's work by visiting his web site.  

No comments:

Post a Comment