This year marks the 5th anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse, which resulted in the tragic loss of over 1134 workers’ lives, with thousands more workers injured. The scale of the Rana Plaza disaster raised global awareness about the harsh conditions of global fast fashion. In this panel, we bring together Bangladeshi and US-based artists, activists and scholars to reflect on Rana Plaza 5 years later. In addition to marking the violence and tragedy of lost lives, we hope to initiate a discussion on how we might think and act creatively in supporting workers’ efforts to organize across the supply chain from garment production in Dhaka to retail workers in New York City. The panel discussion is free and open to all in the NYU and New York Community.
Paula Chakravartty, Associate Professor, Media, Culture and Communication and the Gallatin School
Ismael Ferdous, Photographer
Linda Gomaa, Executive Director, Executive Director
International Union Education League
Chaumtoli Huq, Law@theMargins
Josh Kellerman, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU)
Paula Chakravartty is an Associate Professor, joint appointed in the Department of Media, Culture and Communication and the Gallatin School at NYU. She is part of the NYU Sanctuary Coalition www.nyusanctuary.org, the NYU Coalition for Fair Labor and the Gulf Labor Coalition.
Ismail Ferdous is a Dhaka born award-winning photographer. His wide range of work includes The Cost of Fashion, as well as After Rana Plaza. Ismail’s work is exhibited in the ILO Headquarters in Geneva, at the Gallatin Galleries NYU, 25CPW Gallery New York, the World Bank HQ, the Powerhouse Museum and Rio de Janerio-UNICEF. His work has appeared in New York Times, New Yorker Magazine, National Geographic among many other venues.
Linda Gomaa worked as an organizer with Service Employees’ International Union before joining the USAS national staff as an International Solidarity Campaigns and Development staff member. She was most recently based in Egypt, where she worked at Equipo Técnico of the International Union League for Brand Responsibility in the MENA region.
Chaumtoli Huq is the founder/Editor of Law@theMargins (www.lawatthemargins.com). She was the Senior Research Fellow with the American Institute for Bangladesh Studies (AIBS). She has made two short documentaries, one on the aftermath of Rana Plaza, Sramik Awaaz: Workers Voices , and a video on Bangladeshi womens’ organizing in New York, Naree Shongotok. In 2014, she was appointed as the General Counsel for Litigation for the New York City Office of the Public Advocate, becoming then the highest-ranking Bangladeshi-American in New York City government. In July 2018, she will join the faculty of CUNY School of Law full time.
Josh Kellermann joined the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) in June, 2017 as the Director of Public Policy. He first connected with the labor movement as an organizer at PCUN, Oregon’s farmworker union. Josh holds a Law degree and a Masters in International Studies from the University of Oregon. For the last seven years, he has worked as a Senior Researcher and Policy Analyst at ALIGN, an affiliate of Jobs with Justice and the Partnership for Working Families, based in NYC. At ALIGN, Josh worked with the RWDSU in the Walmart Free NYC coalition, which successfully kept Walmart out of NYC.
RSVP to the event here.