Sunday, April 29, 2012

Homeschool x 27: Dhaka's Tenement Buildings

Wandering through old Old Dhaka I discovered these tenement buildings and decided to venture further inside. After walking through a maze of corrugated buildings I stumbled upon  a school with a student population of 1,200. There isn't enough space inside the school for everyone to attend at one time, so students are designated a morning position or one in the afternoon.

The front gates of the school. 

It was at least 35 degrees outside and inside 120 + students crammed the inside of the classroom, packed the hallways and peered through windows at a glimpse of the lesson. 

 The head teacher showing the kids his skills. 

I wasn't able to capture many photos due to the cramped classroom and the feverish pitch within the school. After an hour and a half of teaching, feeding and "autographing" everyones paper, I was ready to hit the streets of Dhaka, which somehow seemed less chaotic. 

Very cool drawing here.

The principal 

The other classrooms were much calmer.

The vice principal.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Ship Breaking Yards

An hour and a half outside of Chittagong City lie the ship breaking yards. These yards are where massive shipping container boats go to be dismantled by hand. There has been some exposure in the Western media of the detrimental effects of the yards, their ship breaking practices and how the workers are treated so it is almost impossible to get full access to the yards. I was able to find an alternate entrance that wasn't guarded by men with AK-47's and angry glares. I started to follow the workers through the mud where they boarded a boat for the day of work in the sweltering heat. 

This is the captain of the little ship that takes the workers to the massive boats each morning. He invited me onboard to experience a morning of work with the ship breaking team.

More and more people piled into the boat. We took a short five minute ride until we reached The Intrepid, a gigantic ship that was slowly being demolishing by hand by this team of men. 

There was only one way onto this boat and that was by a flimsy ladder that dangled from rusted railings on the main deck of the ship. 

Each wielder is responsible for getting his own equipment up. Some choose to tie it to their waists, while others haul the containers up by ropes. 

As the last man approached the ladder, I asked if I could also join. The workers really wanted me to join them for the day, but the guard carrying the AK-47 at the top of the ladder thought that wouldn't be the best idea. So I got a chance to talk with the captain of the boat and he told me that the workers work from 8 in the morning till 5 pm and make 300 Taka, or about 4 dollars a day, a decent wage in Bangladesh. 

This picture was taken inside the actual ship breaking yard. It consisted of large parts of the ships that had already been removed from the main ship itself. The workers were overwhelmingly friendly, but the guards became aggressive and really didn't want any photographs taken. 

The main ship breaking yard. Decent photo considering it was taken at my stomach while I pointed in a different direction to distract the guard at the main office. 
Edward Burtynsky's film Manufactured Landscapes really inspired me to venture to Bangladesh and the ship breaking yards. He has some amazing shots on his website:

Since the main entrance of the yards was heavily guarded I found this passageway to reach the mud and make the trek to the ships. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dhaka, Bangladesh: The Buriganga River (The Black River)

The Buriganga River is located in the heart of Old Dhaka and its distinct black water can be smelt for quite some distance. The water is a result of a city of 20 million people using it as their dumping grounds. The majority of the city's rubbish, chemicals, and waste ends up in these waters. With lack of housing and general space being a serious problem in Dhaka, the river is also home to thousands of people. 

Small tent like structures are dotted under the bridges in the city and many of the men who work the waters also reside there. 

The river is teeming with activity. The main ferry terminal is filled with various goods ready to be imported and exported out of Dhaka to the rest of the country.

It cost 100 Taka or $1 to hire a man to take you across the river.

With so many people living along the river and using it for their everyday needs space was at a premium. The residents use this space to hang the clothes that have just been "washed" in the black river.

Just like the roads, the rivers are congested, with no real rules as to who has the right of way. The most aggressive usually gets there the quickest. 

The main ferry terminal.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Husky Brown x Kaid Ashton

Here are pics from a recent collaboration with London based artist, Husky Brown. I am very honoured to have had the chance to work with him and this is the result.

Original Pic: Kaohsiung
Original Pasted Pic: Toronto
Collaborating Artist, Husky Brown: London
Pasted Collab: Hong Kong

Check out more of Husky's work and clothing line here: