An hour after the Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Abir Abdullah got to the scene unsure where to begin taking pictures. More than a thousand people had died and hundreds more were trapped alive in the rubble. Injured workers were screaming and crying all around him as rescue workers pulled bodies from the debris.
“Eyes on the World,” a collection moving, provocative, inspiring photographs from the Alexia Foundation’s archive is currently on display at 25CPW Gallery in New York City through June 23. The exhibit includes “Keg Stand Queens,” a project on binge-drinking among college-aged women, by the foundation’s 2011 student award winner, Amanda Berg. Other featured photographers include Jan Dago, Francesco Zizola and 2013 grant winner Abir Abdullah whose work depicts the perils of working in Bangladesh garment factories. The Alexia Foundation photojournalists through grants, scholarships and special projects. Since 1991, the foundation has awarded $700,000 to photo students and professionals.
This issue is over 200 pages and features work by Bangladeshi photographers Munem Wasif, Abir Abdullah, Tanvir Ahmed, Shahidul Alam, Monirul Alam, Murtada Bulbul, Saiful Huq Omi, Azidur Rahim Peu, Shehzad Noorani, Mohammad Kibria Palash, and Khaled Hassan.