‘These ship-breakers work on a site laden with toxic waste’: Mithail Afrige Chowdhury’s best phone picture

The Bangladeshi photographer on workers in Dhaka who risk their lives dismantling old vessels for recycling or disposal

Bangladeshi photographer Mithail Afrige Chowdhury has spent six years on a series featuring workers in his country’s ship-breaking yards. This image was taken in Sadarghat, Dhaka. The man he captured smiled and gave him permission to share it as he stepped on to dry land, where Chowdhury was shooting from.

“His name is Sulaiman, and there are thousands of men like him engaged in extremely hazardous occupations. Ship-breakers dismantle old vessels into parts for recycling or disposal on a site laden with toxic waste. They have no training or safety equipment, and no ability to keep themselves safe from harm or death,” Chowdhury says.

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