Storytelling / portraits / video

Shipbreaking in India

A voice for the women that contribute to a circular economy

In Bhavnagar, India, ten thousands of people work in the downstream shipbreaking. They try to make some money with the leftovers of the biggest ship graveyard of the world. Hidden in the small allies of the slums, mainly women work under harsh conditions. They prepare the plastic anchor ropes and electronics for recycling and thereby contribute to a circular economy. The women are invisible, struggle with low wages and are not recognized as workers.


Mondiaal FNV asked us to visit these areas that are normally almost impossible to visit as an outsider. They want to create awareness about the urgency of the project and the first steps that are taken to improve the working conditions.


By spending time with the women, we gained their trust and made them feel at ease to share their personal story with us. We captured the stories in photos, video and text. We also experimented with 360 video, to give the audience a feel of how it is to work there.

Out of bounds

We knew about the infamous ship graveyard of Alang, but we never expected to be able to visit this place that is off limits to outsiders. Together with the local organization, that worked for years to gain the trust of the recycling companies around here, we were able to visit the area. We took our time to build a relation with the women in the area. We sat down with them, joined them to their work, were even able to be part of their morning rituals. But soon we learned that they are not the shy and invisible workers that they once were. We were impressed by the power of the women. Like Reshma: she organized over 100 women in her neighborhood and together they fight for better working conditions and higher wages. “By standing strong together, we have a voice!”



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