RUST AND SWEAT

PhotographerMauro De Bettio
PrizeHonorable Mention
City/CountryLongarone (BL), Italy
Photo DateFebruary 2017
Entry Description

Char Kaliganj in Dhaka, slum and home to one of the largest shipyards of Asia. A city made by giant skeletons of old ships which employ around 15 thousands souls that work to both break down massive shipping vessels as well as create new ships from the parts. The age of labourers ranges from 8 to 80 and they all work together. The work is hard, crude, dirty and dangerous but it gives thousands of them employment and wages to feed their families. Children are missing out on formal education but there aren’t any other options other than work for money and help their family. “We were born here and we work in this place on a daily basis. There are no days off or holidays and sometimes we miss school and our friends but it is our job to help and take care of our family and we're proud we can help them".

About Photographer

I was born in 1975 in a small town in the Italian Alps. From a young age I felt inside me the desire to tell. Although it is difficult to express, I think that the photograph represents my way of speaking. The camera began to walk by my side towards my long journey of discovery from the age of 30th and street photography is definitely the top I have reached after this long journey. Despite my admiration for the life and work of many artists like Sebastiao Salgado, Feyzullah Tunç, Jean Gaumy and Jimmy Nelson, I don’t like to say that I feel inspired by their works. Definitely, to grow by himself, without the influence of schools, courses and lessons has slowed down the process of technical knowledge, but I'm glad I learned my own way of seeing and to have been formed and shaped by the environment and the people who surrounded me in my travels. What I try to do through my language is to capture the sense of what I breathe and touch with my hands. Not only in appearance but also, and especially, in the essence, trying to express nuances and subtleties contained in a single frame. I think that's part of my personality and my work fully expresses what I am. My story, my soul. During my long trips I had the good fortune to meet great people and from each one of them I absorbed something: happiness, joy, passions, and sometimes even anger, sadness and shame. Emotions that sometimes were like punches in the stomach that took my breath away. Reproduce all these different moods into images is to evoke an emotion in someone else. Stop people and make them think. Photography is a fantastic storytelling medium. Just ask yourself what story you want to tell and photography can bring you there.