On the evening of Monday 11th November the Bhopal Medical Appeal, in conjunction with the Bhopal Group for Information and Action, held an evening to mark the upcoming 35th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster at Amnesty International UK’s Human Rights Action Centre in Shoreditch.
The event also marked the opening of an exhibition of photographs from Bhopal by acclaimed photographer Judah Passow, which will remain on display in the venue until Monday, November 25th. If you would like to view the exhibition you will find the address of the venue below.
Peter Frankental (Amnesty UK), opened with a speech about Bhopal and the collaborative history between Amnesty and BMA. Followed by a talk from our executive Trustee, Tim Edwards, about the history of the disaster and the work taking place at the clinics. Tim was then joined onstage by photographer Judah Passow. In a moving interview, Judah described how his time in Bhopal and his encounters with those suffering as a result of the disaster has affected him both personally and professionally. Despite extensive experience working in conflict zones, Judah explained how the unique nature of the situation in Bhopal challenged him to learn to take a new kind of photograph, one that might capture the struggle of the people of Bhopal as they continue their campaign for justice.
In the second session of the evening, we were joined vie weblink by two speakers from Bhopal, Nousheen Khan and Sathyu Sarangi. A speech therapist at the Chingari children’s clinic, Nousheen described her experience growing up in Bhopal after the disaster and how it has affected the community and families in Bhopal, including her own. As director of the Sambhavna Trust, Sathyu Sarangi then gave a comprehensive update on the work taking place at the clinics, the progress being made in the ongoing struggle for legal accountability for the disaster, and explained why the people of Bhopal require our support now more than ever.
The evening ended with a screening of ‘Where do the Children Play’, a new film from director B. Kailasam. It documents the 800km journey from Bhopal to Delhi undertaken by survivors in 2008 to confront then PM Manmohan Singh about the government’s mishandling of the disaster. Featuring powerful individual interviews with survivors about their experience on that night and how it continues to affect their lives, the film is a faithful and touching portrayal of an incredible journey across the heartland of India by those who refuse to abandon the fight for justice.
Overall the evening was a great success and we wish to thank all those who showed up to give their support. Our thanks also go out to Peter Frankental and all of the Amnesty staff at the venue for their part in making this a wonderful evening. Finally we wish to thank the Punjab restaurant, who provided us with delicious Bhopal-style chai free of charge as a contribution to the charity.
As previously mentioned, Judah’s exhibition will remain up in the foyer of the Human Rights Action Centre until Monday. November 25th. If you would like to view the exhibition the full address is:
The Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3EA