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In Dhaka with new woodblocks 1,447 comments

I have a new set of woodblocks all ready for printing, but we are stuck in Dhaka unable to board the ferry to Katakhali due to a blockade (oborodh) and transportation and general strikes (hartal) announced by the opposition parties. The 72-hour strike was announced while I was en route from Washington DC and went into effect within hours of my arrival in Dhaka. Total political gridlock in Bangladesh, as the opposition seeks new elections under a caretaker government and the current government is taking a hard line and not negotiating. The opposition parties are setting off Molotov cocktails in various places, including on ferries and buses, and are derailing trains. Nandita Ahmed and and I are here in Dhaka witnessing the paralysis. We were supposed to travel via overnight ferry today with Sardar Shafiqul of the International Centre for Climate and Development but have been forced to postpone our trip tonight. I had planned to organize a climate awareness and adaptation workshop, woodblock printing and writing workshops, as well as continued oral history and video documentation. The strikes are supposed to end tomorrow morning but we are not sure if they will. It’s a very very frustrating situation, and we feel for people here whose lives and livelihoods are at risk. The national high school (HSC) exams were scheduled for yesterday and had to be postposed. Will keep you posted…

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