Dhaka-based photojournalist, Andrew Biraj, has got some interesting works up on his site. Biraj has worked on several stories in his native homeland Bangladesh, Cambodia and the United Kingdom.
State Excluded is the story of Islamic Biharis living in government-run refugee camps in Bangladesh. This series was included in Noorderlicht this year, under the Faith of Statelessness.
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.
[all images © Andrew Biraj]
Biraj’s images are humanistic, trying to bring forth a change to those who are captured by his camera. I cannot help but notice the multitudinous layering of symbols in this series. Such inequality in the world today: people living on the fringes, an indelible outcome of strife and disaster. How many more similar stories remain untold?