Here I bring more gloom.

One year and Brands have still been denying compensation, people still sitting in hospitals.

I wanted to share the website Saydia and the other activists, artists and anthroplogists who have been on the cause wholeheartedly. , on the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy, to be held at Pathshala. The website launch is part of Pathshala’s five-day long programme of commemoration (22 - 26 April 2014), titled “1134. Lives, Not Numbers.”

Thanks for your support everyone, I know I have been awful in contact.  IT is draining here, one calamity after another. This place is buzzing with dark fascism at the moment and no end to violations I'm having to record, report to a system of systems. 

Hoping you are all well.

Much love,


INVITATION: “Shondhan chai” – launching online archive of family posters seeking Rana Plaza victims

The struggle of man [sic] against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.

― Milan Kundera

“Shondhan chai” – website launch of Rana Plaza family posters

5:00 – 6:00 pm, 24th April 2014

Pathshala, 16 Shukrabad, Panthapath, Dhaka – 1207

twentyfourapril invites you to the launch of its website, , on the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy, to be held at Pathshala. The website launch is part of Pathshala’s five-day long programme of commemoration (22 - 26 April 2014), titled “1134. Lives, Not Numbers.”

The website, an ongoing work, is an online archival collection, consisting of photographs of posters of missing garment workers and employees; these were pasted largely on the gate and walls of Adhar Chandra High School, some at Enam Medical College and Hospital, by distraught family members, friends and acquaintances soon after the collapse of the eight-storied commercial building in Savar, Dhaka, which had housed five garment factories.

Each poster has a photograph, coupled with information traditionally sought by governing powers, whether colonial or national, located faraway: Name, Father’s Name, Village Name, Post Office,  Thana/Upazila, District. But not all posters seek a single person, some speak of the search for a husband and wife, both feared buried under the rubble, or a brother and sister, a mother and daughter, worse, of three family members. Traditional identity information offered in the posters are accompanied by information now considered essential to contemporary everyday life -- the searcher’s mobile phone number. A host of cell numbers on many posters speak of helplessness tinged with the hope that the greater the cell numbers provided, the greater the chances of recovering the loved one.  Photocopies of Factory ID Cards, of Appointment Letters, of National ID cards even, pasted on the posters, speak of transformation in the technologies of governance (of local capital’s subordination to global capital, the adoption of surveillance strategies by the government, the creation of a centralised data bank of the citizenry) to which we are subjected, to the compliance it elicits from families in times of distress.

The first flurry of posters were followed by ones with more information, initial handwritten ones with computer-composed printouts, fresh copies replaced earlier ones washed away by the rain.  As the days passed by, as the absence lengthened, the language of the posters changed: “Shondhan chai” (Seeking) was replaced by “Shondhan chai. Mrito ba Jibito” (Seeking. Living or Dead).

The website is being launched with 365 posters, photographs of the posters were taken by Ayon Rehal, a student of Pathshala, and a member of twentyfourapril. The banner photograph of the website of Rana Plaza -- its pancaked floors spilling outward, lit by rescue work being undertaken at night -- was taken by award-winning photographer Taslima Akhter, a teacher of Pathshala, also a member of twentyfourapril.  The work of archiving continues and we at twentyfourapril hope to upload the remaining few hundred posters, with victim names accessible on Google’s search engine, in the coming months.

The launch will be accompanied by a discussion where those who worked as archivists and created the website will speak of their experiences. Nurul Kabir, editor, New Age, will speak about the politics of remembering and forgetting; writer rahnuma ahmed, also a member of twentyfourapril,  will contribute to the discussion and steer it.

We invite you to be there, to help build solidarities so that the families of Bangladeshi garment workers need never put up “Shondhan chai” posters in future.

In solidarity,

Akram Hosen, Ayon Rehal, Nazneen Shifa, Samina Luthfa, Saydia Gulrukh, Seuty Sabur, Shahidul Islam Sabuj, Sushmita Preetha, Taslima Akhter & rahnuma ahmed

"Until you found something worth dying for, you’re not fit to be living." Martin Luther King

rahnuma ahmed

writer, columnist New Age

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