I was. I’d never seen a cheerful picture of Bangladesh until coming across Positive Light.
The only pictures I’d ever seen associated with the country were sad and bleak, showing crippling poverty, political chaos, unrelenting calamity and, as a result, never-ending relief work.
But Positive Light, a book by Bangladeshi photographers working for social justice, shows the country to be so much more than those stereotypical images.
Sure, there is poverty, instability and despair.
But there is clearly also joy, celebration, beauty and energy.
And by bringing these aspects of the country into focus, partners Crowdsourced Travel and Drik hope to encourage investment and tourism in the country “whose everyday people deserve to earn under the dignity of fair exchange instead of the pity of poverty”.
“We believe that Bangladesh needs to harness the economic potential of tourism to create more grassroots economic opportunities for its people,” says Mikey Leung of Crowdsourced Travel.
“We seek to present a balanced image of Bangladesh, one that shows both the beauty and the reality Bangladeshis face.”
Crowdsourced and Drik believe so much in this project that when a sponsor pulled out, they took a bank loan to continue with the publication of the book.
Watch Positive Light's story here.
Crowdsourced Travel is a community-powered collective fighting global poverty in a non-traditional way, providing marketing and travel media services to places whose people could benefit economically from tourism.
Drik Bangladesh is a multimedia organisation focused on challenging social inequality.