Friday, February 03, 2006

Metropolitan

The Independent reports on a massive fire in a squatter community in Bangladesh that has left thousands homeless. But here's a provocative detail from the article: fire department sources tell the paper that the bulk of the shanties consumed by the flames belonged to two men, Sadek Khan and Mohammed Ali. I want to know more about those guys.

And, the article notes something else remarkable: the people are already rebuilding.

3 comments:

Superjudge said...

Like a Pheonix rising from the flames... I have just finished reading your book "Shadow Cities" for my Urban Sociology class and I can visualize the community hard at work to rebuild their modest homes from the ashes. If we all had a sense of determination, connection and community like that shared by squatter residents, I know we could be moving forward on a path we would all be proud of.

Superjudge said...

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the copy of your book I received from the University bookstore was missing the majority of the chapter on Instanbul. It will be going back to the publisher soon....

rn said...

Wow superjudge: kind words about the book, even with the Istanbul chapter missing like a gecekondu that didn't last the night.

And that's a good point you make: The Phoenix is said to be a mythical bird. But squatters routinely build on the rubble of what used to be their homes. My friend Dilip D'Souza visited some who were rebuilding on a small patch of high ground surrounded by knee-deep water after their community was destroyed in last year's monsoon in Mumbai. Their comment: water over our heads we wouldn't risk, but being surrounded by water up to our knees isn't so bad.