Facing persecution, the Rohingya community had to flee Myanmar and seek refuge in Bangladesh, with many from the community currently living in a refugee camp in Cox Bazar. Despite the numerous hardships they have faced, the heavy monsoon rains, floods, the lack of proper facilities, limited access for the youth to education, the Rohingya community have through their perseverance, dedication and creativity, built artistic foundations in the refugee camps to share their voices and experiences.
One such initiative based in the Cox’s Bazar's refugee camp, is non-profit photography magazine, Rohingyatographer, founded by Sahat Zia Hero with support from David Palazón. The magazine highlights Rohingya photographers living in the refugee camps and photography as a tool for self-expression, community development, participatory action research, showcases the photographers raising awareness about the Rohingya community, documenting and sharing images of life in the refugee camp.
So far, the team at Rohingyatographer have produced two magazines and act as a platform for a new photobook created by Rohingya women photographers.
The first issue of Rohingyatographer explored the notions of identity, memory, aspirations, faith, beauty, craftsmanship, grief, love and loss within the Rohingya refugee community. Issue two supported by UNHCR, covered the community’s relationship with nature and their resilience in relation to the harsh living conditions of the refugee camps. The magazine's third issue will feature traditional Rohingya food culture and recipes. The book entitled 'Unseen Courage, Through Rohingya Women's Eyes', Supported by SEA Junction and Sahat Zia Hero backed by his 2023 Prince Claus Seeds Award, is filled with work by Rohingya women photographers capturing through their lens, life in Cox Bazar refugee camp.
Impressive photographs in the magazines and book relay the stories the community want to share, the lives, rituals, craft, heritage, concerns, hope, and portraits full of light and love. Alongside that, the photographers participate in exhibitions and creative workshops that take place in the refugee camp for children and adults, spreading the power and joy of art for participants to express their feelings and thoughts.
This is the link with details of the Rohingyatographer team with each photographer's work https://www.rohingyatographer.org/team . It is important and moving to read each photographers' life story and experiences and crucial to see the remarkable photographs they take and share.
Details of the magazines and book can be found here: https://www.rohingyatographer.org