‘Ten Years After Rana Plaza’ exhibition begins at Drik Gallery

An exhibition titled 'Ten Years After Rana Plaza' begins in the city's Drik Gallery on 21 July.
Prothom Alo

Ten Years After Rana Plaza, an immersive exhibition marking a decade of the Rana Plaza disaster through interdisciplinary works, has begun in the city.

The exhibition by Ismail Ferdous, a Bangladeshi photographer and filmmaker based in the US, will remain open to the public till 29 July every day from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Drik Gallery (Level 2, DrikPath Bhobon) in the city.

Ismail also collaborated with architect Farhana Nizam Chowdhury, artist and illustrator Morshed Mishu and collage artist Ata Mojlish to design the interdisciplinary exhibition.

Ferdous has passionately advocated against the detrimental impacts of the "fast fashion" industry on Bangladesh following the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory on 24 April in 2013. The incident, one of the largest industrial disasters in the world, claimed at least 1132 lives.

Before moving to the US, Ismail began ‘The Cost of Fashion’, a photo and video advocacy project after documenting the Rana Plaza factory collapse. He then continued working on the same issue with ‘After Rana Plaza’ project and spreading awareness about the fashion industry and its negative effects on workers in Bangladesh.

The exhibition serves as a continuation of his ongoing efforts to explore the struggle of memory against forgetting.

Asked why he planned to hold this exhibition, Ismail told journalists on Friday, “I want to shake the conscience of the youth of our age level. Garment industry is going through a transformation as many of the factory owners have become aged and going to retire soon passing on the business to the next generation. The new leaders in the sector mustn’t forget this tragedy. They cannot forget it.”

This tragedy is indelible in the history of the country. We cannot progress if we forget this history and don’t learn for our mistake, he added.  

Through carefully curated memory-evoking photographs, videos, narratives, interactive installations, and posters, the show aims to ensure that the memories of Rana Plaza remain ingrained in personal, social, and national history.

Throughout his illustrious career, Ismail has collaborated with esteemed international newspapers, magazines, and corporate clients, including The New York Times Magazine, Geo Magazine, The Washington Post, Le Monde Magazine, Hermes, and many others.

Since 2017, he has been a frequent contributor to National Geographic Magazine, contributing challenging stories on diverse subjects. He is currently working as a member of Agence VU’ in Paris.

Ismail Ferdous's outstanding work has garnered recognition and accolades, including the prestigious World Press Photo, Picture of the Year International, Alexa Foundation Grant, Getty Images Instagram Grant, and numerous other major photography awards.