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About

 

Welcome to Rohingyatographer, a beacon of creative expression and resilience. Located in the heart of the world's largest refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, Rohingyatographer is a collective of passionate Rohingya photographers and artists. United by our love and dedication, we aim to share the stories of our community through the art of photography and writing

Founded in 2021 by Rohingya photographer and human rights activist Sahat Zia Hero, with support from David Palazón, a Spanish art director and former curator of the Rohingya Cultural Memory Centre, the collective has become a defining voice in documentary photography within the Rohingya refugee community. What started as an entrepreneurial endeavor with Sahat's first photobook has blossomed into a vibrant collective of over 30 photographers, writers, and artists. Together, we are redefining the Rohingya narrative, shifting it from victimhood to one of resilience and identity.

The collective's work has gained international acclaim, standing as a vibrant testament to the Rohingya's right to self-representation. In 2024, Rohingyatographer received the Casa Asia Award in the category of Diversity, Inclusion and Sustainable Development, as well as winning an Honourable Mention at the ZEKE Awards by the Social Documentary Network. In 2023 Sahat was the recipient of the Prince Claus Seeds Award and the Nansen Refugee Award, recognising his leadership in this photo-voice project. 

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In an environment rife with uncertainty and limited access to formal education, photography has emerged as our voice and purpose. More than just a publication, it's a powerful platform for visual storytelling, offering a glimpse into our community's life in the camps through the eyes of Rohingya youth. As a testament to the transformative power of photography, Rohingyatographer gives a voice to the stateless. We enable self-representation and foster understanding, preserving the collective memory of the Rohingya refugee community. In this act of creation, each photograph is not just an image but a powerful statement of identity and self-assertion.

 

Rohingyatographer has evolved into a vital resource for those interested in the Rohingya experience, community-led documentary photography, visual anthropology, human rights, and refugee studies.

 

Our journey began with a virtual exhibition, supported by the Spanish Cooperation Agency and in collaboration with Casa Asia in Barcelona. This initiative captured the attention of UNHCR, leading to their backing of our second issue. We achieved a milestone with our third issue, which is entirely crowdfunded on GoFundMe. Our publications delve into a range of themes including identity, resilience against natural elements, food, education, and human rights. A highlight of our journey is the first monograph by Rohingya female photographers, supported by SEA Junction and unveiled at the Asian University for Women.

 

MISSION STATEMENT

Rohingyatographer is dedicated to empowering the Rohingya community through photography, providing a platform for self-representation and storytelling. Our mission is to foster global understanding and empathy for the Rohingya crisis, preserve collective memory, and advocate for human rights and dignity. By empowering Rohingya individuals to document their own narratives, we aim to challenge perceptions, inspire change, and contribute to a world where art acts as a powerful catalyst for social justice. These are our objectives:

  • Enhancing creativity: Developing storytelling and content production skills among the team members, strengthening Rohingyatographer as a Rohingya-led content creation platform.

  • Preserving cultural identity: Engaging Rohingya youth in preserving their own identity, history, cultural heritage, and collective memory.

  • Facilitating education: Producing educational assets that can be utilized by Rohingya individuals engaged in teaching and learning within their own community.

  • Empowering livelihoods: Supporting practice-based learning, self-expression, and skills development as livelihood and income opportunities for talented Rohingya youth.

  • Advocacy and visibility: Using project assets to raise visibility for the Rohingya community and support advocacy efforts for their hope to return home.

 

ENGAGEMENT & COLLABORATION

Expanding beyond publications and exhibitions, Rohingyatographer offers photography workshops​ and services such as photography, videography, stringer services, research, translation, and transcription. We're open to assignments, collaborative proposals, and opportunities for media engagement. For those seeking to share authentic Rohingya narratives, we encourage you to connect with us by email. For more information about our collective, exhibitions, collaborations, academic and global press coverage, please click on the links in the sections below:

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EDITORIAL TEAM

Sahat Zia Hero

Founder/Editor/Mentor

David Palazón

Producer/Editor/Curator

Ro Yassin Abdumonab

Mentor/Advisor

Ahtaram Shin

Writer/Editor/Mentor

Ishrat Bibi

Curator/Editor

Ro BM Hairu

Social Media/Editor

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PHOTOGRAPHERS

Abdul Wajed

Abul Kalam

Ahtaram Shin

Anuwar Sadek

Azimul Hasson

Enayet Khan

Hujjat Ullah

Ishrat Bibi

Jaitun Ara

Janifa

Khaleda Begum

Khin Maung Thein

Maung Hla Myint Arafat

Mayyu Khan

Md Hasson

Md Hossain

Md Hussain Mosini

Md Jamal

Md Yakub

Md Zubair

Mijanur Rahman

Minara

Moriyam

Nur Begum

Omal Khair

Omar Salma

Parmin Fatema

Ro Alfaz Khan

Ro BM Hairu

Ro Mon Sur Ali

Ro Rezaul Islam

Ro Yassin Abdumonab

Sahat Zia Hero

Saiful Hoque

Shabukur Nahar

Shahida Win

Umme Salma

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MEDIA COVERAGE

2024

The Guardian. ‘I can’t speak but my photos do’: how a mute Rohingya boy talks to the world

Postimees. Refugees pictured by Refugees. Rohingyatographer: An extraordinary photo project highlights the fate of a million forgotten refugees

 

ZEKE Magazine. Through Rohingya Eyes: A Journey of Resilience

 

Doctors Without Borders. Rohingyatographer: Sharing the Rohingya story in photos

Boom Saloon. We photograph, therefore we are

Der Spiegel. "Hope kills the people here"

2023

El Confidecial. Autorretrato íntimo de los olvidados de la tierra

El Diario. Los refugiados convertidos en fotógrafos para acabar con el olvido de los rohingya: “Queremos que el mundo nos escuche”

Broadsheet. Celebrating Food in a Hunger Crisis: A Rohingya Photographer and Refugee’s Mission To Preserve a Disappearing Food Culture

Radio France Internationale. Four Rohingya photographers awarded by the UN for their work in Bangladesh camps

NPR. Photos: This is life in the world's largest refugee camp, as seen by their own

DVB. The Rohingya and the ethical blindspot of international media

UNHCR. With photographs, words, and deeds, Rohingya refugee storytellers weave hope from despair

MSF. Rohingya youth trapped in violence and despair in Cox's Bazar 

 

UNHCR Netherlands Magazine. Rohingya in Pictures.

PYO Asia. Favourite images POY Asia 2023

Conversations on Genocide. Episode #3: The Rohingya Genocide and International Law with Regina Paulose 

Dhaka Tribune. Hope away from home

Dhaka Tribune. Poetry and art provide ‘hope away from home’ for Rohingya refugees

F-Stop Magazine. Interview with Sahat Zia Hero – Rohingyatographer Magazine

Reasons to be Cheerful. Rohingya refugees capture the reality of their lives one photo at a time

Aljazeera. What is life like inside the world’s biggest refugee camp?

SBS Dateline. They are called the forgotten people. This photographer tells their stories

Himal SouthAsian. A Rohingya photographer’s dispatch on food-aid cuts in the refugee camps

The Observers. Refugee photographers fight to raise awareness about plight of Rohingya in Bangladesh

Die Zeit. The Camp of the Forgotten

Minority Rights. Bangladesh: Sanitation among Rohingya women in Kutupalong refugee camp

The National. How can the world uplift the lives of refugees around the world?

The Business Standard. 'Life through Rohingya eyes': A fitting exhibition for World Refugee Day

The Daily Star. ‘Life through Rohingya eyes’

Daily Sun. ‘Life Through Rohingya Eyes’ photo exhibit launched

2022

Aljazeera. ‘Through our own eyes’: Rohingya refugees stage photography show

 

The Guardian. ‘This is our documentary of the crisis we face’: the Rohingya smartphone photographers.'

The Guardian. Women behind the lens: silent and alone, Nur hopes for a greener future

Blurb. Rohingyatographer Magazine: Behind the Zine with Sahat Zia Hero

The Eye of Photography. Rohingyatographer Magazine: We Are Rohingya

Anadolu Agency. Photo exhibition highlights plight of Rohingya in Bangladesh

NBC News. Young Rohingya photographers capture life in world’s largest refugee camp.

Visual Rebellion. Snaps of life in the world’s biggest refugee camp​

Mizzima News from Myanmar. ‘We Are Rohingya’ photo exhibition puts cameras in the hands of Bangladesh camp refugees

Migrant Voice. The photography magazine from the world’s largest refugee camp

UNHCR. Rohingya boy learns language of photography

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EXHIBITIONS

 

2024

Unbowed. Unbroken. Portraits of Cultural Resilience. Bridge Gallery, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

The Art of Exile: documenting the displacement of Myanmar’s Forced Migrants. School of Humanities. University of California

Through Rohingya Eyes: A Journey of Resilience. Social Documentary Network

2023

FELIFA. Festival de Libros de Fotografia y Artes Plasticas. Haroldo Conti Cultural Memory Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Jasbaa. The Art of Rohingya Refugee Resistance. Curated by Mayuu Ali. Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum and Doon Heritage Village. Canada

Resistance, Resilience, Remeberance. Picturing the Rohingya Genocide. Rohingya Centre of Canada, Ontario

Life through Rohingya Eyes. Liberation War Museum, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Leipzig Photobook Festival. GRASSI Museum for Applied Arts, Germany

 

2022

We are Rohingya. Head On Photo Festival. Sydney, Australia

We are Rohingya. Cox's Bazar Cultural Memory Centre, Bangladesh

We are Rohingya. Liberation War Museum, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Añrá Rohingya (We are Rohingya)Virtual Exhibition on World Refugee Day

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ACADEMIC COLLABORATIONS & PUBLIC TALKS

 

2024

The photographic social experience of Rohingya youngsters of Cox’s Bazar: an interview with Ro Yassin Abdumonab in Visual Ethnography Journal by Marcelo Schellini, Curtin University, Malaysia

2023

Asking the world to see: Im/mobilities in refugees' group self-representation through the photography magazine Rohingyatographer by Luise Nora Rommelspacher, National University of Singapore

 

Five Years Lost: Youth Inclusion in the Rohingya Response by Imrul Islam and Sahat Zia Hero, in Journal on Migration and Human Security, Sage Journals. Centre for Migration Studies, New York

Rohingya refugees are using photography to tell their own stories by Mari Griffin, in Lacuna Magazine. Centre for Human Rights in Practice, University of Warwick

Forced Migration and the Arts. Panel discussion by Civic Leicester. UK

2022

Voice and power at the intersection of art, technology and advocacy by Sahat Zia Hero, Alison Kent, Alexandra Kotowski and Parmin Fatema, in Forced Migration Review. Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford University

Live from the world’s largest refugee camp. Head On Photo Festival. Australia

Diálogo «Somos Rohingya, la mirada de los fotógrafos Rohingya». Casa Asia. Barcelona. Spain

Review of Rohingyatographer Magazine, Issue #1/Summer 2022. Prof Tom Arcaro. Elon University

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