City Eyes

I wanted to tell him that I read those words in a novel for class. In it the speaker - in one of many equivocating asides - expounded on how living in a city in India makes everyone develop a type of cataracts. Beggars, in all their motley shapes and forms, are so natural to our cities that they have become invisible. The are the unsubstantial beings, cloaked like poltergeists or djinns, that our minds filter out as we navigate the city.

ProPublica piece on Climate Refugees

Our modeling and the consensus of academics point to the same bottom line: If societies respond aggressively to climate change and migration and increase their resilience to it, food production will be shored up, poverty reduced and international migration slowed — factors that could help the world remain more stable and more peaceful. If leaders take fewer actions against climate change, or more punitive ones against migrants, food insecurity will deepen, as will poverty. Populations will surge, and cross-border movement will be restricted, leading to greater suffering. Whatever actions governments take next — and when they do it — makes a difference.

Looking for Shah Jalal

The avenue leading up to the mazaar was much wider than any other road I had yet seen in Sylhet. Cars were parked in a row along the middle of it as apposed to the side: it used a system of parking completely different than what I was used to. Stalls stood on both sides of the avenue, which gave the place the look of being more a peddler trap than the ascetic shrine the word mazaar conjured up in my mind.

Kotka Beach

The trail we walked through cut through a field, the jungle did not hold sway there. It was the plain of tall grasses and small shrubs; with singular trees the height of a tall man rising up like scrawny watchmen. A small woodpecker skipped over the bare ground about five meters ahead of us, pecking at the earth looking for grubs and maggots. When we got too close it would fly straight down the path, get some breathing room away from us—the pesky intruders into its realm. It kept doing so for a good twenty minutes before it got fed up and flew up irritably to the branches of a tree that overlooked the path, and waited for us to move past.

New York Election: Record Number of Bangladeshi Candidates Amid COVID-19 and George Floyd Protests

The coronavirus pandemic is still raging in New York, the former epicenter of the United States. But seeing the protest processions across the city, there is no way to say that even a few days ago, these city dwellers were under house arrest in fear of coronavirus. The murder of George Floyd has changed the … Continue reading New York Election: Record Number of Bangladeshi Candidates Amid COVID-19 and George Floyd Protests

Does Writing Have a Future in the Peripheries?

Critical theorist, Vilém Flusser’s main agendas is a “recoding of history” not in terms of historical consciousness, but on the operative imperatives of apparatuses. This recoding inevitably takes the form of imperialism that at first glance appears to advocate a “value-free regime,” but which Flusser writes is better understood as an “order [of] all values … Continue reading Does Writing Have a Future in the Peripheries?

Love of Country

A version of this piece can be found at http://www.newagebd.com/supliment.php?sid=344&id=2316.  On Feb 18, 2013, Kalpona Akter, Bangladesh labor organizer, and Reba Sikder, a garment worker and Rana Plaza collapse survivor, gave a talk here at Penn State University, in State College, USA. I heard about the talk through the local Bangladeshi Students Association, and went eagerly … Continue reading Love of Country