Map Oxbridge Applications. 14 – 16 Waterloo Place, London, SW1Y 4AR

18 months after the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh, bones remain in the ruins of the building and survivors are yet to receive any compensation.

The disregard for the remains of those killed in the collapse has been internationally condemned (https://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/william-gomes/reason-and-responsibility-rana-plaza-collapse) on the slowness of the government to treat the bodies with respect and care, and also for the lax structure the building had which led to the collapse.

Architecture students will know that architecture is not an art form removed from practical applications, with the modernist movement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modernism) a clear indicator of architecture having to take account of functionalist needs and utilitarian requirements. In this case, however, we see that utilitarian needs of money and sparing expense were at the expense of the safety of the inhabitants and the needed strength of the building to support them.

This ties very clearly to the area being under-developed and not invested in, indicated strongly by the treatment of the dead in the collapse. Archaeology and anthropology applicants would do well to read how burial rites can tell us about the beliefs and social mores of society (http://anthropology.net/2008/06/30/cross-cultural-burial-rituals/).

The ties between treatment of the bodies and the disregard for them in life too is important to HSPS students, to fully understand how infrastructure ties into social life.

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