Overview participating exhibitions

Act of Faith
2007

Act of Faith

Andrew Biraj

FAITH OF STATELESSNESS (Bangladesh, 2006)

Those who are considered refugees in Bangladesh are obliged to live in government-run camps. The largest group in these camps are the Islamic Biharis. They have been in this region for sixty years now, but still have no official status. The Biharis came from East Pakistan, but at the outbreak of the civil war in Pakistan in 1971 sided with Islamic West Pakistan. After the war East Pakistan became Bangladesh. It regards the Biharis as traitors, while Pakistan refuses to take them in for fear of being overwhelmed with refugees. Since then the Biharis have been stateless, and live under miserable conditions in Bangladesh. – A fire-juggler at the camp prepares for the big event of the tenth of Muharram, the following day. Many such displays will be seen the next day during the Muharram procession, an important event among Shi'ite Muslims worldwide, and one of the most important religious events among the camp-dwellers.

  • FAITH OF STATELESSNESS (Bangladesh, 2006)

    Those who are considered refugees in Bangladesh are obliged to live in government-run camps. The largest group in these camps are the Islamic Biharis. They have been in this region for sixty years now, but still have no official status. The Biharis came from East Pakistan, but at the outbreak of the civil war in Pakistan in 1971 sided with Islamic West Pakistan. After the war East Pakistan became Bangladesh. It regards the Biharis as traitors, while Pakistan refuses to take them in for fear of being overwhelmed with refugees. Since then the Biharis have been stateless, and live under miserable conditions in Bangladesh. – A fire-juggler at the camp prepares for the big event of the tenth of Muharram, the following day. Many such displays will be seen the next day during the Muharram procession, an important event among Shi'ite Muslims worldwide, and one of the most important religious events among the camp-dwellers.

  • FAITH OF STATELESSNESS (Bangladesh, 2006)

    The alleyway between the houses, constantly crowded by people, also serves as a kitchen for most families.

  • FAITH OF STATELESSNESS (Bangladesh, 2006)

    People pray in a mosque inside the Bihari camp, while passers-by walk through the dark alley at dusk.

  • FAITH OF STATELESSNESS (Bangladesh, 2006)

    Children recite religious hymns in the days before the tenth of Muharram. Camp-dwellers are renowned for their impassioned religious hymns, and are often hired out to other parts of the city to display their prowess.

Biography

Andrew Biraj (b. 1982, Bangladesh) is a staff photographer for The Daily New Age in Bangladesh. He also regularly supplies photos for the Drik Picture Library, located in Dhaka.

Website Biraj

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Act of Faith

Act of Faith

Price EUR 10,00