One Bangkok gallery is now hosting a photography project by award-winning photo activist Saiful Huq Omi that documents the lives of members of a group Myanmar does not include among its 135 officially recognized ethnic groups – the Rohingya.
The exhibit opened at the Hof Art Space in Bangkok on November 29 and will continue until December 6.
Public exhibitions on the lives of Rohingya people are crucial while the Myanmar army continues to prevent independent journalists from documenting ongoing human rights abuses against their communities in northern Rakhine State.
According to the event description:
For more than four decades, the Rohingya—a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority from Myanmar’s Rakhine State—have faced widespread and systematic human rights violations. In a 2015 legal analysis prepared for Fortify Rights, the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School found “strong evidence” that the government of Myanmar is responsible for genocide against Rohingya Muslims.
Saiful Huq Omi has worked with Rohingya families since 2009, photographing their lives extensively in Bangladesh, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom.
The exhibition is a joint project between Counter Foto, Equal Rights Trust, and Fortify Rights. The exhibition captures the hardship faced by Rohingya, particularly those who have fled to Bangladesh and Malaysia. It documents their perilous journey by sea and depicts life for those living in and outside official U.N.-operated refugee camps in Bangladesh. Intimate, rare images from the camps highlight Rohingya hardships as well as the different sentiments between Rohingya adults and children towards their temporary shelters in Bangladesh. The exhibition also portrays the exploitation and dangerous working conditions Rohingya face as a consequence of their statelessness. Finally, images from Rohingya families who have resettled in Bradford, U.K. tell a different story. Living in a completely different environment, Rohingya children born in the U.K. were able to gain rights and citizenship and integrate into society, but not without complex, mixed emotions.
If you happen to be in Bangkok then, go educate yourself on this important issue.