Bangladesh: Art in the Slums Honors Working Women

KIARA BRAMASCO WRITES – The hard-working women of Bangladesh were honored recently in an art exhibition just as beautiful as they are, with the added bonus of the art being reusable for housing insulation later!

On September 13 a public art exhibition opened in the Korail slum, the largest in Dhaka, capital city of Bangladesh. The exhibit was created by photojournalist/artists Susie Taylor and Jason Motlagh, who have been reporting on the country’s garment industry for most of the year.

The Counter Foto Photography Department, a platform for activists and photographers, and the Inside Out Project, a global platform that helps transform individual stories into public art messages, helped Taylor and Motlagh capture the faces of the Bengali women that are now displayed on the sides of the housing structures in the Korail community.

a06The Bangladeshi newspaper the The Daily Star, reported that the artwork is “…a celebration of the hardworking Bengali woman and in support of her struggle for socio-economic justice,” as they work under the tough labor demands of making clothes for the world. The public art, which was installed with the help of a Bangladeshi based non-profit organization called JAAGO, is printed on PVC plastic, making it functional art work that can later be used for housing insulation. The images were installed in hopes to attract people from outside of Korail to boost the local economy, create awareness, and share the stories of the women in the Bangladeshi garment industry.

The public exhibition shows the political function of photographic art in its mission to help local residents of Korail and the women of the Bangladeshi garment industry. Through the artwork, the display is bringing public and media attention to the people and the conditions of the Korail slums.

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