/ 2018 / /

I am Rohingya

  • Prize
    Gold in Press/Other
  • Photographer
    Mohammad Rakibul Hasan
  • Website
    http://www.mrhasanphotos.com/

The Rohingya is a minor Muslim ethnic group who has been living in
Myanmar for centuries. However, due to the racism and many other
socio-political issues accelerated from the majority in Myanmar, they
became a victim to a categorization of themselves as Bengali
descendents, the recent migration of whom began on August 2017,
from Myanmar to Bangladesh. These people are deprived of their
ethnic rights by their own country, which includes non-enlistment with
other 135 official ethnic groups, as Myanmar government has regarded
them as stateless refugees from Bangladesh [1]. Over one million
Rohingyas used to live in Myanmar, and they are the most persecuted
people in the world and their current exodus has made more
vulnerable.

When God remains silent even when there is a war or genocide,
or humans are in a terrible condition, we seek for help, but there is no
one who can rescue us from the dying humanity. I have spent around
thirty days to cover the exile of Rohingya Refugees coming from
hundreds of miles away in bare foot, and holding hands of reaming
beloved ones, there were tears in eyes and fears in heart – as just to
save their own lives. Many children were half-naked; they couldn’t
manage time to get dressed or their outfits lost its utility of providing
coverage, during the long journey to seek for a refuge in Bangladesh.
I saw an old man named Ahmed, who carried his ninety-year old
mother, walked miles after miles under hot sun, and lost his family
members during the attack of Myanmar Army. Sometimes words are
not enough to articulate the horrific experiences of people who have
been through such devastation when the state declares war to clean
up their own people, barely reserving any sympathy. After the World
War I and II, many Europeans started renouncing the existence of
God; no worship, devoted or indifferent, helped diminish the horror of
the war. As a matter of fact, everyone will die one day or the other;
death is inevitable and final destination for all living beings. And
Rohingyas are no exception to it. These people are Muslim, and they
are not terrorists in any way possible, rather most of them are
farmers, who just had a simple life, and wanted to live it peacefully on
their own terms with respect, dignity and their own identity. Everyone
has the right to live, to perform their own belief and religion.
Buddhism teaches ‘Ahimsa’ (Non-injury) of other living beings.
However, Myanmar is a country consisting of a majority of Buddhist.
How ‘Himsa’ (injury) has led them to kill and rape many Rohingyas as
an attempt of genocide and ethnic cleansing is a burning question. I
have spoken to many Rohingya people, and everyone has one or more
stories of losing one or more from their families, many are raped, and
many got killed by Myanmar Armies. There are reports of many
women being captivated for sex slavery and a lot more are missing.

It was not an easy condition at all for a conscious photographer
to listen to the stories, and taking the photographs to produce the best
aesthetical piece of art. It was more like documenting the horror of
truth. I went to the local hospitals for several times to see the victims
who entered into Bangladesh with injuries brought by the Myanmar
Armies during the time they were fleeing. Or perhaps, the army just
wanted to loot the belongings of these people. The Nobel Peace
Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, might not have pondered to go against
the elite Army Generals for the sake of material happiness of life, but
there are great chances reserved for the owner and creator of
everything and this universe, and He can bring justice for once and for
all, before it is too late for innocent human beings.

Bibliography

1. Al Jazeera. 2017. Myanmar: Who are the Rohingya? [ONLINE]
Available at:
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/08/rohingya-
muslims-170831065142812.html. [Accessed 27 January 2018].

Mohammad Rakibul Hasan is a Dhaka, Bangladesh-based documentary photographer, filmmaker, visual artist, and art educator.
Hasan was nominated for many international awards and won hundreds of photographic competitions worldwide, including the Lucie Award, One World Media Awards, Human Rights Press Award, and Allard Prize. His photography projects have been exhibited in Photo Basel, Shanghai Photo Festival, NordArt Festival, Berlin Photo Festival, Belgrade Photo Month Festival, Indian Photo Festival, and many other galleries worldwide.

Awards Photography Awards

Year 2022

• Grant Recipient from The Global Research Programme on Inequality (GRIP) on the Imaging Inequality Photography Project partnership with the Bergen University, 2022, Norway
• Shortlisted on Story “Salt” at World Water day Photo Contest – 5th Edition 2022, Italy
• Top ten at the Photo Contest 2022 on Ecosystem restoration in the Hindu Kush Himalaya, organized by ICIMOD, Nepal
• Shortlist on Student Category (Photography Project) at the One World Media Award 2021, UK

Year 2021

• The Indian Photo Festival in Hyderabad (7th Edition) selected the series of “The Forbidden Love” for the print exhibition, 2021, India
• Bronze Award for the series of “The Forbidden Love” at the Moscow International Photo Awards (MIFA), Russia
• Print Exhibition Artist at the NordArt 2021, Germany
• Photo Story “Parklife” exhibition on EMK Center’s a three-day-long Environment Day campaign 2021, Bangladesh
• Honorable Mention at Lucie Foundation Fine Art Scholarship 2021, USA
• Finalist in the photo story category at the Documentary Family Photography Award 2021
• The Best Youth Photographic Award on Photo Series at the Felix Schoeller Photo Award 2021, Germany
• Winner in Photography Category at the GEO Art Competition 2021, Switzerland
• Shortlisted at the 2021 Lenscratch Student Prize, USA

Year 2020

• The Best Talent Award 2020 for the series of “The Last Savings” at the Prix de la Photographie, Paris (PX3)
• Exhibition selection of “The Looted Honor” photo series on Rohingya Rape Survivors from July to October 2021 at NordArt 2021 International Art Exhibition, Germany
• Shortlist for the series “The Last Savings” at 2020 CHROMALUXE X Lucie Foundation’s FINE ART SCHOLARSHIP, USA
• One of the Winners among three from Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF) and Omidyar Network’s ‘COVID-19: The Bigger Picture’ photo competition 2020, U.K.
• Student Winner of Bar-Tur Photo Award 2020 for the series of “Salt”