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Through Rohingya Eyes

A Journey of Resilience

Bangladesh

by Rohingyatographer Collective

Published March 2024. ZEKE Award Honorable Mention winner

Rohingyatographer is more than a photography project, it is a platform of narrative justice for Rohingya refugees. Through the photographic magazine Rohingyatographer, refugees recover parts of their lost identity, sharing their stories of resistance and hope amid despair.


Rohingyatographer is distinguished by empowering Rohingya people to become narrators, not just subjects, promoting a level of authenticity rarely seen. In doing so, the project challenges existing stereotypes, provokes meaningful dialogue, and instills a new respect for human resistance.


The Rohingyatographer Collectives project, "Through Rohingya Eyes: A Journey of Resilience" will be on display at the Bridge Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 13-May 25, 2024, and at Photoville in Brooklyn, New York, June 1-16, 2024.


The story behind Rohingyatographer


Sahat Zia Hero and David Palazón met for the first time while working at the Rohingya Cultural Memory Center in the refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar. In 2021, they partnered remotely to support Sahat in the self-publishing of his first photo book. The collaboration was a success and Sahat expressed his desire to produce a new project that could include other Rohingya photographers, and thus Rohingyatographer magazine was born. The magazine quickly established itself as a cornerstone for those interested in topics such as the Rohingya experience, community documentary photography, visual anthropology, and human rights. Currently, Rohingyatographer works with 30 photographers, each contributing unique perspectives to our narrative effort.


Biographies of the founders:


Sahat Zia Hero


Sahat, born in 1994 in Maungdaw, Myanmar, is a photographer, writer, and human rights activist. Initially, Sahat aimed to study Physics at Sittwe University, but witnessing the systemic discrimination against the Rohingya community altered his path. Now living in a refugee camp in Bangladesh, Sahat has established himself as an advocate for his community.


Sahat’s photographic work has been exhibited at the Oxford Human Rights Festival and the Head On Photo Festival in Sydney. His written and photographic contributions have appeared in media such as Aljazeera, The Guardian, and NBC, as well as in academic journals of the Center for Migration Studies in New York and the Forced Migration Review of the Center for Refugee Studies of the University of Oxford.


In 2021, Sahat was nominated for the UNICEF Photographer of the Year Award, and in 2023 he received the Prince Claus Seeds Award and the Nansen Refugee Award.


David Palazón


David, born in Barcelona in 1972, is a designer, curator, and creative producer. He studied at the London College of Communication, the Royal College of Art, and the EICTV in Cuba. His work focuses notably on countries such as Bangladesh, Timor-Leste, Sri Lanka, Vanuatu, Palestine, and, more recently, Pakistan. Specializing in design, photography, documentary film, and visual anthropology, David has worked in partnership with several UN agencies, including IOM, UNHCR, UNICEF, and UNFPA, using art as a catalyst for social justice and change.


In Bangladesh, David was the curator implementing the Rohingya Cultural Memory Center in collaboration with IOM, the UN Migration agency. This experience forged valuable ties with Rohingya artists and photographers, catalyzing his subsequent role in the production of the Rohingyatographer magazine led by refugees together with Sahat.

Follow Rohingyatographer Collective on Instagram

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