Knee Deep – A Story By Abir Abdullah

“Even when their houses get inundated with water, they would continue living in it.”

Those are the words of Abir Abdullah, a professional photojournalist who alongside Latitude Longitude 6 (LL6) just launched a new photo exhibition titled “Knee Deep”. It will carry on till July 14, 2015.

The photographer talks about this exhibition in this video:

The Struggle

The photos exhibited here were taken a long time ago – during the monsoon floods of 2007. What struck me most was immediacy of the pictures. I only got to know about the time frame after attending the artist talk on Wednesday evening. But having visited the exhibit earlier and with Shehzad bhai, the curator of LL6 sending me some pictures in email before – the only thing I kept telling myself was, “MUST DO SOMETHING”. I don’t know what though. Just like many others who fall into an abyss of guilt, I realised I didn’t know what to do.

But when I heard of the time frame, and that these were from 2007, the struggle got magnified even further. What felt as a clear and present danger for me TODAY, is a clear and present danger for these individuals for the last 8 years.

It would be safe to assume that a lot of these houses don’t exist anymore, let alone being flooded. River erosion, migration etc, amongst many reasons. And for those that remain, flooding is an annual event.

The One That Shook Me.

A boat tied to her bed. Keeping aside the struggle of having a boat inside your house – we have to understand, this is the most important thing to this family under these circumstances. It takes them to their earning source, it takes them to the market to buy food and it is also an escape route – when the need comes to migrate.

In the end…

I hope this sparks some thought regarding solving such problems. I know for a fact that there are people working tirelessly to find a solution, to find a way to reverse all this, and to even install interim way-outs. We need to find them and bring them here.

A lot of this blog site’s rambles are about scarcity of water. How we are wasting and how we are not treating it well. For some though, abundance comes as a pain.

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About the Artist
Abir Abdullah was born in Bagerhat, Bangladesh. He completed his Masters degree in Marketing from the University of Dhaka and a Diploma in Photojournalism from Pathshala South Asian Media Academy. Abir worked with Drik Picture Library from 1997 to 2005. Currently, Abir is working in the European Pressphoto Agency as the Bangladesh correspondent.

Awards and Exhibitions: His numerous awards include prestigious Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography, Leica prize in the Vevey International Photography Awards, Alexia Foundation professional grant (2013), NPPA, Days Japan and Islamic Unity-Iran. Abir’s photo essays have been widely exhibited in Europe, South America, Asia and the US.

About Longitude Latitude
Longitude Latitude is an periodical art event that returns to a different venue every time. The core philosophy of this exhibition is “any space is a good space to interact with art.” Shehzad Chowdhury, along with his team of organisers, have been curating this event since 2003. This year they are partnering with Bay Development at Plot 96, Road 11, Banani.

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