is a long-term documentary photography project to shed light on the lives of people who remain deeply impacted by one of the world's deadliest industrial catastrophes.
On April 24th 2013, an 8-story-high garment factory, Rana Plaza, collapsed in Savar, Bangladesh. At least 1,134 lives were lost and another 2,500 were greatly injured—marking the incident one of the most horrific global tragedies to date.
The Rana Plaza collapse caused a rude awakening for the garments industry worldwide. The global supply of cheap clothing, exported from poor nations to wealthier nations, without acknowledgment of the risky safety regulations and unfair worker treatment, could no longer be ignored.
Global consumers had to consider the consequences of their actions for the first time. What is the cost we are paying for our fashion—our appetite for trends and cheap clothes? Do people actually realize whose life is behind the clothes they wear?
We must consider, what are the outcomes of this supply and demand, of people's lives involved, within the grand system of consumerism? Who is winning? And, who is losing?
The human rights abuses suffered as a consequence of the world’s largest industrial tragedy should not be forgotten. Many clothing companies have yet to compensate victims, many of whom lost relatives, body parts and the ability to continue working to support their families. As a global society, we must bring their stories to light as a way to hold these businesses responsible. This is the time to revisit difficult questions and capture the narratives of people's realities. Stories of both struggle and survival will be heard through testimonies, which might have otherwise been buried under the debris of destruction. Every single day, we will bring their voices to the forefront. Utilizing photography and audio, we will tell the story of what happened, what is happening and what could happen as a result of this tragedy. Through the journey of discovering these stories, we hope to create awareness and overall understanding of how the situation stands today.
After Rana Plaza is a collaborative project between Bangladeshi photographer Ismail Ferdous and The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.