Photograph by Saiyna Bashir. Frame not included. For framing options, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Workers tend to plants, May 2020 in Azakhel Mattani, where out of work labourers due to the Covid-19 pandemic have been hired by the government as 'jungle workers' in a reforestation drive to plant 10-billion trees to deal with threats due to climate change. The workers wake up at the crack of dawn and head out to the plantation areas where they either plant trees or take care of the already planted trees. I was working on an assignment supported by the National Geographic Society's fund for journalists covering covid-19 in an effort to show daily wage workers and their struggles during the pandemic. I reached the Azakhel area at around 3:00 a.m. and spent time in different locations with workers in the fields.
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Saiyna Bashir is a Pakistani photojournalist currently based in the capital, Islamabad. After studying journalism at the Columbia College, Chicago, Bashir worked as a staff photographer for Cap Times in the U.S for two years. Saiyna’s photos have been published alongside news stories in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Al-Jazeera, The Telegraph among others.
In war-torn countries the vast majority of professional photographers work for news agencies. This means their work is often focused on coverage of conflict. Our project is motivated by the opportunity to give talented photographers an entirely new outlet for their work. Through this project we hope to reveal a side to war-torn countries rarely seen in the international media.