“We want people to see us as human beings, just like everyone else, and to share our hopes and dreams, our sadness and our grief with others, to make connections,” says Sahat Zia Hero, a man behind the Rohingyatographer.
Rohingyatographer is a Magazine founded by Sahat Zia Hero, a Rohingya refugee, and aims at promoting the self-expression and skill development of Rohingya refugees through the medium of photography. This will provide Rohingyan youth an opportunity for creativity and innovation apart from being known for their marginalization.
Rohingyan evacuees, inhabiting the camps of Cox Bazar- World’s largest Refugee camp, in Bangladesh are working behind this magazine which publishes twice a year.
The first issue of the magazine deals with the intimate recording of the day-by-day life of the displaced community in Kutupalong. This collection of photographs explores the theme of faith, workmanship, love, grief, loss, aspirations, and the striving Rohingya community who tries to build a better life for their children amidst the squalid condition in the camp.
Rohingyan youth is familiar with photography as they help the journalists to navigate the camps and collect the stories for the media. With the outbreak of COVID-19, as media entry was restricted Rohingyan youth started to share their life through social media and used photography as a tool to document their harsh living condition.
“Even though I know a good deal about the realities Rohingya refugees face, I learned so much more by reading this inaugural issue of Rohingyatographer,” Prof Tom Arcaro, Elon University said.
“Rohingyatographer Magazine captures snapshots of life in the world’s largest refugee camp, taken by 10 incredible Rohingya photographers,” according to Alexandra Kotowski, Humanitarian Advocacy Advisor at Oxfam.
Sahat Zia Hero invites the onlookers to view the everyday life of the youngest baby of 2 months to the oldest man aged 102 years living between their homeland and refugee camp, the flimsy existence threatened by natural calamities such as fire, heavy monsoon, floods, and landslide.
Besides, the joy, devotion, beauty, determination, and hope of these people are also entailed in this photo book. This is a non-profitable publication with the income generated from one reinvested in the next magazine.
Described by the United Nations as ‘the most persecuted minority in the world’, nearly a million Rohingya people are living in refugee camps in Bangladesh as a result of a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar in 2017 that is now the subject of a genocide investigation at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.