Photo exhibition highlights plight of Rohingya in Bangladesh
On World Refugee Day, ‘We are Rohingya’ displays 50 photographs, capturing culture, identity, hopes, and dreams of persecuted people
The UN refugee agency and the Liberation War Museum of Bangladesh jointly organized a photo exhibition on Monday in the capital Dhaka to highlight the plight of Rohingya refugees on the occasion of the World Refugee Day.
The exhibition titled “We are Rohingya” presented the work of 10 Rohingya refugees, who had photographed people living in the cramped camps of Cox’s Bazar, the world's largest refugee settlement and home to above 1.2 million displaced Rohingya Muslims, most of whom fled a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine State in August 2017.
The display included a total of 50 photographs, capturing the culture, identity, hopes, and dreams of the persecuted people, who found refuge in neighboring Bangladesh.
On the occasion, a UNHCR statement said: “More than 50% of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are children under the age of 18 with no access to formal education and a very limited access to skill development activities or higher education.”
“Art and photography are for them a mode of expression, to deal with emotions and feelings in a positive way and ease the trauma they have experienced. Photography is also a way of keeping their culture and history alive, by documenting their community’s daily lives,” it added.
The photo exhibition explores themes of memory, hope, dreams, faith, beauty, craftsmanship, grief, loss, and love among the Rohingya refugees, the statement added.
The exhibition also includes 11 photographs from the Liberation War Museum archives that capture the lives and stories of Bangladeshi nationals, who were forced to flee and live as refugees during the Liberation War in 1971 between Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) and West Pakistan (present Pakistan).
After being freed from around 200-year-long British colonial rule, the Indian subcontinent was divided into two independent states – the Hindu majority India and the Muslim majority Pakistan. Bangladesh, as East Pakistan, was part of Pakistan till 1971.