Friday, 3 February 2012

Jana Asenbrennerova: Shipbreakers of Chittagong

Photo © Jana Asenbrennerova-All Rights Reserved
“The workers look like little ants next to these gigantic ships, and they are just as vulnerable.”
Jana Asenbrennerova's work on the ship breakers in Chittagong was recently featured on the CNN Photo blog....however her photographs are better viewed on her own website.

The CNN essay also informs us that about 80% of the world's out-of-service ships are recycled in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, according to NGO Shipbreaking Platform.  The largest ship breaking yards at Gadani in Pakistan, Alang in India, Chittagong in Bangladesh and Aliağa in Turkey.

The majority of the ship breaking workers come from the poverty stricken northern region of Bangladesh where there are limited employment opportunities, with the larger proportion of the labor (40.75%) are between the ages of 18-22 years old, and children (under the age of 18) represented about 11% of the workforce.

Jana Asenbrennerova visited Chittagong’s ship-breaking yards in summer 2010 to document what life was like for the people who work there. The ship breaking yards are notoriously difficult to access, but Jana was helped by a local photojournalist.

Jana is an award-winning Czech photojournalist based in the United States. Her work focuses on Southeast Asia. After studying directing and screenwriting at Film Academy, she worked in Prague’s film and theater industry for several years, then studied photography at City College of San Francisco, and photojournalism at San Francisco State University.