September 17, 2022
GRIEF OF A MEGACITY
Photography and story by Ahsanul Haque Fahim
Introduction by Melanie Meggs
Ahsanul Haque Fahim is an ardent photographer from Bangladesh, whose passion for photography began as a mere hobby and eventually led him to study at Pathshala South Asian Media Institution in 2021. Fahim continues to pursue photography through personal projects, with special interest in portraiture, street photography, and capturing the spatial landscapes of people in their natural environments in Bangladesh.
Fahim is aware of the effects that our negligence, mistreatment, and general indifference to nature can have on our environment. He looks for inspiration in his neighbourhood, finding beauty in everything it has to offer. This series is based on Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, and in it, Fahim endeavours to capture the effects of urbanisation on the outskirts of the city.
Fahim's series is a creative exploration of this transformation - a transformation where man's ambition disregards its own consequences, where lives are sacrificed for progress, and where livelihoods are destroyed in a quest for a better future.
THE OUTSKIRTS is based on Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. I wanted to represent the effects of urbanisation on the outskirts of Dhaka city, in order for its expansion of the city. Dhaka city, a home for over 20 millions habitants is also the financial centre of Bangladesh. Regarded as one of the most densely populated cities in the world, thousands of people from across the country, regardless of all class and age come to the city every day in a quest for better jobs and education hence, for a better opportunity and a better lifestyle.
Everyone wants its fair share of Dhaka city. This constant wave of incoming migration is making the city suffocate...a city already out of capacity to house anymore migration. To cope with the excess population, the urban planners suggested a guideline to expand the city on the outskirts. The city corporation accepted the guidelines and deployed the measurements in action. Flyovers are constructed for seamless transport transmission. The metro rail service has been added to the public transportation system. New route for metro rail has been under construction. With the city dimension expansion already in action, the city's outskirts are already in transformation of becoming too urbanised. Vast green fields are now occupied by piles of concrete and clear sand. The green has become pale. The natives are moving away, some are displaced in order to grant the expansion. Sold their lands to the city corporation. Their livelihood has perished, the habitants have disappeared into the flow of development. Once those pale green fields used to be full of native children, now only left to be wailed. This formidable city is swallowing everything in its coming path.
Through his photography, Fahim seeks to spread awareness of urbanisation's effects while demonstrating that beauty can still be found in unexpected places. His series is an invitation for us to join him in reflecting on the past and present of Bangladesh's rapidly changing landscape. We must act now and become mindful of the environment we inhabit, choosing sustainability over convenience.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and are not necessarily shared by The Pictorial List and the team.