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Survivors

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Promiti Hossain’s artistic practice is comprised of drawing, painting and collage. Her work addresses her private experience as well as the subjectivity of gender. The constant news stories of gender-based violence against women and children, which she comes across daily, inspire her to draw attention to the struggles women face in the world. Her anatomic-style ink drawings of insects, flowers, and the female body allow marks and mistakes to represent the challenges women face in society.

 

Hossain engages with vulnerable groups, sometimes subjected to brutal and exploitative occurrences. For her DAS 2020 installation, Personal and Social, 2019-20, she worked in an isolated village in Subarnachar, Noakhali. She engaged in conversations, and subsequently made drawings, together with a woman who was gang raped by 16 cadres of a political party. Broadening her exchange In Noakhali, Hossain also met with child brides and other women with whom she would engage in collective drawing.

 

Above: Image courtesy of the artist.  Below: Image Randhir Singh.

Promiti-instal Quilt

‘A thousand stars twinkle on the sky, and I dream of Beauty by my side’, reads the translation of a traditional Kantha-stitched statement embroidered into Taslima Akhter’s moving Memorial Quilts. This is not an abstract dream, Beauty was the wife of Alam Matobor who disappeared in the deadly collapse of the garment factory Rana Plaza in 2013, one of the worst industrial accidents in history. Their daughter Farzana embroidered her father’s words on a handkerchief, and the stories of loss of 14 other families make up the details (which include messages, photographs, and belongings donated by surviving relatives) comprising this powerful collaborative reminder to ‘remember the dead and fight for the living.’ A counter-narrative to disaster, these quilts empower families to memorialise their loved ones and draw together a growing number of allies who demand the wage and safety conditions necessary to avoid history repeating itself.

 

Akther is a documentary photographer and human rights activist, drawing attention to the issues faced by garment workers for over a decade. Her photographs address issues of gender, the environment, and social discrimination. Akther’s politics strongly influence her photography, which often captures the lives and struggles of those she rallies for. She is the chair of Bangladesh Garment Sromik Samhoti (Bangladesh Garment Workers Solidarity) founded in 2008.

 

Above: Photo Randhir Singh

Below: Image courtesy of the artist

‘A thousand stars twinkle on the sky, and I dream of Beauty by my side.’

Taslima Akhter Memorial quilt-Stitching Together00