Khaled Hasan February 2, 2009Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bangladesh.
Shapna (age 13) works as a stone collector. Jaflong, Bangladesh
Khaled Hasan (b.1981, Bangladesh) received his master’s degree in Accounting from the National University of Bangladesh. He graduated from Pathshala (South Asian Institute of Photography) in 2008 and has worked for The Daily Shomokal and Majority World photo agency. He won the 2008 All Roads Photography Program of National Geographic Society for his Documentary Project “Living Stone”. He believes that it is essential for the photographer to create communication and trust with his subjects. “Photography has the visual power to educate by allowing us to enter the lives and experiences of others.” His current projects include Jihad: Fighter of Disability and Leather Workers of Bangladesh.
About the Photograph:
“This photo is from a project about the stone workers of Jaflong in the northeastern part of Bangladesh. The Piyain River in flows from India through Bangladesh. During the monsoon, the river currents wash down precious rocks and pebbles from India into Jaflong area. At dawn every day, more than a hundred little boats with laborers enter the Piyain River, buckets and spades in hand. This is one trade which has a geological limit. The stones that tumble down the riverbed from India are decreasing in volume and the laborers are already taking the risk by invading the no-man’s land along the Indo-Bangla border which is considered a sensitive area. More than two thousand men, women and child stone-laborers are engaged here. Utilization of modern machinery like cranes has taken over the use of primitive tools and many children have been suffering from hearing problems due to the high-pitched sounds of the equipment. As many as 250 machines are engaged in crushing stones at Jaflong. The farmers there can no longer produce crops because of the dust from the crushed stones.”
Editors Note: Chobi Mela (Picture Festival), an international photography festival with over sixty exhibitions from thirty-five countries, has opened in Dhaka this weekend. More details at Banglaphoto, the other blog I maintain from Bangladesh.