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Human Factory

France Leclerc | Bangladesh

Workers come from rural parts of Bangladesh to carry out exhausting work in the most unsafe conditions.

With its 163 million-strong population, Bangladesh is in the midst of a construction boom and with that expansion comes a need for cheap construction materials. Such high demand has lead brickmaking to thrive. However, despite attempt at regulations, the brick-making industry is still a major source of pollution and its workers are subjected to incredibly perilous conditions. Almost all bricks are made literally by hand using a 150-year-old technology; it is a human factory. Workers of all ages come from rural parts of Bangladesh during the dry season carrying out back-breaking and exhausting work while exposed to irritating red dust for long hours without any kind of protection.

France Leclerc, born in Québec, Canada, is an independent photographer who currently lives in Chicago. Her early career was in academia, but in 2005 she decided to make a change to pursue her true passion for documentary photography. But the curiosity and hunger for learning that had motivated her academic research career did not vanish. France now uses photography as a vehicle to understand and help depict issues that puzzle her, and satisfy her passion for learning. Among her most prominent themes are culture, religion and poverty. Her images have now been shown in curated exhibitions and have won numerous awards, including an APA award in the photojournalism category and a PDN WorldinFocus award.

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