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Stijn Pieters April 20, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bangladesh.
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Krisnomony Char, Northern Bangladesh 2009

Stijn Pieters (1976, Belgium) is a self taught photographer based in Gent, Belgium. To date Stijn has completed projects in Nepal, Kashmir, Palestine, Northern Ireland, Swaziland, Yemen, Morocco, Iran, Vietnam, The Philippines, India and Bangladesh. These projects examine diverse issues, from HIV/AIDS in Swaziland to gun culture in Yemen and agent orange victims in Vietnam. For his work in Yemen and Morocco Stijn received grants from the Pascal Decroos Foundation and the King Baudouin Foundation. His work has been published in Belgian magazines like MO*, Vrede, Menzo, Tertio, Vacature, Varen and Isel Magazine. In 2009, Stijn was awarded the third prize of the ‘Photopress Prize Flanders’ for his work on acid violence in Bangladesh.

About the Photograph:

“The photo is part of a story I made in 2009 about the Friendship Hospital, an NGO working on the Jamuna river (Brahmaputra) in northern Bangladesh. Friendship provides medical care on a floating hospital and emergency relief during flooding to the isolated communities on the chars, tiny low-lying sandy islands on the mighty river. More then five million inhabitants of the chars live on the frontline of climate change. Melting glaciers and deforestation in the Himalayas lead to frequent and intensive flooding during the monsoon season and pose a serious threat to the char dwellers. River erosion and flooding forces thousands of families to move from one char to another every year. The char dwellers nomadic lifestyle continues because they are very poor and cannot afford to live on the mainland. On the chars the people survive and don’t pay rent or taxes.”

Editors Note: I had the pleasure of traveling with Stijn in Bangladesh on a few occasions over several months. While most of us were shooting digital he stubbornly :) left his DSLR in the bag and only shot with his trusted Leica M-6. He had his film processed in Dhaka and after returning to Europe scanned his negatives. I respect him for the extra effort he puts into his work.

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