This photograph depicts people gathering as rescuers look for survivors and victims at the site of the eight-story Rana Plaza building, which housed several factories that manufactured garments for numerous multinational companies. The building, which was illegally built on top of a former shopping center, collapsed on April 24th, 2013 in Savar, Bangladesh, killing 1,129 and injuring 2,500 people—the deadliest disaster in the history of the garment industry. Injured survivors and the families of those who died are yet to receive their promised compensation in full. Chasing higher profits, many international corporations have outsourced their production to countries with lower labour costs and fewer labour regulations, such as Bangladesh.
The Allard Prize Photography Competition jury selected this photograph for its depiction of the destruction that can be caused by an industry weakened by corruption and weak rule of law as well as the possible negative consequences of global labour outsourcing.
A.M. Ahad is a photojournalist based in Bangladesh. His work has been published in TIME, The New York Times, The Guardian, The International Herald Tribune, Saudi Aramaco World, and Himal Southasian. His work has also been exhibited in Finland, France, the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom.