Taslima Akhter and Robin Berson will be speaking in conversation about their processes as artists and activists working in the labor movement, advocating for the rights of garment workers.
In Conversation: Taslima Akhter and Robin Berson
Featuring: Taslima Akhter and Robin Berson
Sunday, September 16 | 4.30PM – 5:30PM
Location: 60 Water Street, DUMBO – across from Photoville
Taslima Akhter and Robin Berson will be speaking in conversation about their processes as artists and activists working in the labor movement, advocating for the rights of garment workers. The two have collaborated and communicated from across the world: Akhter in Bangladesh, and Benson in New York, on projects memorializing the lives of mostly female garment workers that have been lost in preventable factory tragedies. Both women work on the ground for the equal rights of workers and to create an awareness of the conditions that exist within garment factories worldwide.
Taslima Akhter works as an activist with workers’ and women’s rights organizations and as a documentary photographer. Her work on “The Life and Struggle of Garment Workers” won third prize for documentary photography in the Julia Margaret Cameron Award, and also led to her being selected for the Magnum Foundation scholarship in 2010. The work was also exhibited at the Angkor Photo Festival in Cambodia, after exhibitions in Bangladesh during the garment workers strikes during the summer of that year. TIME Magazine selected Taslima’s photo, “Final Embrace,” as one of the top ten photos of the year in 2013. Akhter is the former president of Bangladesh Students’ Federation and is a lecturer of photojournalism at Pathshala South Asian Media Institute in Dhaka. She is currently working as a coordinator of the coalition, Bangladesh Garment Workers Solidarity.
Robin Berson is an activist, historian and artist. She is a member of the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, and works to educate the public on the tragedy with the intention to ensure that the rights of workers are met today. Her workers’ memorial quilt commemorates New York’s deadly Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911, where 146 people, mostly immigrant women, perished. The quilt has been displayed at several New York museums and in Massachusetts. She has since worked alongside Taslima to create her Bangladeshi memorial quilt of Rana Plaza, with texts from newspaper articles as well as photographs, some taken by Taslima herself. The two quilts were displayed together in the exhibition “Across the Centuries, Across the Continents: Triangle Fire and Bangladesh Garment Workers Memorial Quilts”, and at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in Morningside Heights. She was also the managing editor of a quarterly history journal and has published several books.
Magnum Foundation expands creativity and diversity in documentary photography, activating new audiences and ideas through the innovative use of images. We are committed to supporting a global network of social justice and human rights-focused photographers. Our work is grounded in the belief that images are a powerful tool for engaging issues and ideas. Stories told in creative new ways by image makers working within their own communities have the possibility to transform how we see and understand the world.