When we visited Rani’s house in a suburb of Dhaka she had just returned to Malaysia where she works in a Japanese electronics factory. The family showed us what she had brought with her. The doll in the picture was carefully locked away in a steel cabinet. It was made by Bengali men, Rani’s neighbours in Malaysia – also migrants, working for an American multinational. All the members of her family wanted her to return to Bangladesh for good. Rani had earned some money, but much less than she’d been promised. She convinced them it would be better for the household if she returned to Malaysia – and secretly she hoped to pursue her dreams.
I started out as a social scientist, but I wanted to use my creative skills more fully. I planned to make films but that turned out to be too expensive. Last June I started my studies in photojournalism at Pathshala, the South Asian Institute of Photography in Dhaka.
This article is from
the August 2001 issue
of New Internationalist.
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