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Development Redefined: A Holistic Vision in Bangladesh

Photo essay: Bangladeshi activists promote development that's rooted in indigenous knowledge and community values.

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UBINIG (Policy Research for Development Alternatives, in English) is a progressive grassroots development organization working within communities throughout Bangladesh. The organization is founded on a premise of holistic development rooted in protection of indigenous knowledge and community values. Formed in the 1980s out of a series of study groups involving activists from around Bangladesh, UBINIG’s aim is to create more sustainable, localized, and indigenous forms of development.

The organization has nine centers around the country, where they work with farmers, weavers, children, and community members.

UBINIG also works closely with local handloom weavers in Tangail, Bangladesh, the country’s most famous textile producing district. They give weavers initial capital to buy one or two looms followed by training for marketing their work. 

Click here to start the slideshow of weavers from Tangail, Bangladesh.


SuzannaFinley.jpgSuzanna Finley curated this photo essay for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. She is a 24-year-old Brooklyn-based photographer. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in December 2008, and departed in January 2009 for a three month project in South Asia, including six weeks in Bangladesh, volunteering with Grameen Bank, a Nobel Prize winning micro-finance organization, and UBINIG. She is currently working as a freelance photographer in New York. More of her work can be seen on her website.

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