Dark Garden

The place is gloomy yet beautiful, fireflies roam in the dark, streams of water flow from the mountains. The scenic beauty of the narrow muddy roads making their way across the tea plantation sometimes feels like a world of magical reality. In stark contrast, the hand of a worker who was crippled in an accident while working on a machine in a tea factory, pushes our senses back to a complex reality and understanding.

In 1854, during the colonial period, when the tea plantation was started in the Sylhet region of Bangladesh, a larger part of the plantation was occupied by the British merchants. People from different parts of greater India were brought as workers to the tea garden. It was never easy, but extremely hard to work on the vast acreage of the plantation due to the weather, heat and humidity.

In Bangladesh today, there are nearly 167 tea plantations and about 100 000 workers in the sector. These workers have different lifestyles, languages and cultures. Even after centuries of hardship and domination, they still cannot afford to own a piece of land for themselves. No one can save money from their earnings or move away to start living in mainstream society. Their lives are tied up in a cycle of earning daily wages of 120 BDT, the equivalent of 1.42 US dollars. The plantation workers are living to this day in the same small mud houses in the middle of the tea garden. Time continues to pass by generation after generation, but the fate of the tea plantation workers does not change at all.

  • Student Project:
  • Pathshala covid 19 Grant
    October 26, 2020
  • KPS National Photography Exhibition and competition
    Khulna, Bangladesh
    May 12, 2016
Artist Biography

Md Fazla Rabbi Fatiq is a Bangladeshi documentary photographer currently based in Comilla. He like to work on contemporary content that makes him interested in something personal, social, geographical and political. In 2017 he completed BSc. Honours in Multimedia and Creative Technology. While studying multimedia, he became acquainted with photography, which later made him more interested in this medium. Recently, he graduated in photography from Pathshala South Asian Media Institute.

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