My good friend and fellow photojournalist G.M.B. Akash is currently working on raising funds for his Survivors project. Akash is one of the best photojournalists to have ever held a camera and his work is truly a gift to the world. This book promises to be a stunning and important work. That is why I am urging all of you help support him in his project. If you are not aware of his work, take a look at THIS set of images to see the quality and importance of his work.
For more information on Survivors and to pledge money you can go HERE It is also worth noting that he is offering some wonderful gifts including signed prints, signed books and even workshops with him in Bangladesh for those who are able to dig deep. You can pledge as little as $10 so even students can help Akash with his work. I just donated and I hope you also consider it.
Note: This video seems to have trouble playing on some browsers, such as Safari. It seems to play well with Firefox.
Words from Akash:
I have been doing my project “Survivors” for the last 10 years in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Pakistan, and Bhutan.
“Survivors” depicts the invincibility of the human spirit to survive against all odds. People who live on the edges of society have had a big impact on me and have been a great inspiration to me as a person and in my career. The existing social hierarchies have made me realize that those who live at the lowest rank on the economic ladder are the true survivors. These people are deprived of even the basic necessities of life, yet they manage to live each day with a smile on their faces. In the project, I trace the lives of those whose existence is based on serving others rather themselves. They have no means to break the vicious circle, which is infinitely imposed upon them like a curse.
As a photographer I feel it is my task to show the world those unseen realities and to shed light on what most of us never see with our own eyes. I want to show the things that shouldn’t be. For many years I have been working on child labor as part of this project. Children are selling their childhood for less than 1 dollar a day. In a balloon factory when an 8-year old balloon maker told me “I took some damaged balloons for my little sister, I have no time to play, and I have only time to support my parents” I realized I should show lives like hers. During the last 10 years I have gathered a collection of photographs depicting the wise, resigned, sad, and sometimes bewildered faces of children, sex worker, climate change survivors etc. Above all I have seen their struggles. But I also see the beauty of people and the human soul in the pictures I take. And though the circumstances of some of the people I portray may be grim, the people themselves are always remarkable characters.
When born in a poor country like mine people acquire the natural ability to fight against the odds. Surviving in a poor country facing adversity daily is like a lifetime tragedy. These images are stories of my own experiences, too. My journeys connect me to the many characters. Sometimes I had to run, take a ride in the top of the roof of a train, sleep on flooded floor. After reaching my protagonists and getting entry into their doors & being accepted all my work becomes worthwhile. If a single hand comes to give them shade that is the real purpose of my work.
I hope “Survivors” will be a strong medium to reach and touch people’s hearts. I have given many years of my life to this project and I feel that I have taken on a responsibility for the people I photograph. This project not only portrays them but also their circumstances. Their stories tell that they are fighting relentlessly without anything but a smile.
But more than just depicting their lives, my project also aims to help them. I have formed a small activist group with few friends & well-wishers. I personally make an effort to find the best ways to break the cycle of poverty. I have engaged in specific projects for certain groups: targeting one slum/brothel/rehabilitation centre and providing help for their long-term improvement. Activities include donating rickshaws to a community, sewing machines to brothels, providing knowledge for children.
25% of the selling price of the book will go directly to help run those ongoing attempts. I hope from my heart you will be able to contribute.