2018 Young Portfolio Award Finalist
Turjoy Chowdhury, Born Refugee
This series of photographs depict portraits of babies who are born refugees – in the womb of Rohingya women when crossing the Myanmar-Bangladesh border, and born at refugee camps inside Bangladesh. The future of these babies are called into doubt in the context of them being stateless under Bangladesh’s Citizenship Law – born inside a refugee camp in Bangladesh, which does not recognize them to be citizens by birth, fleeing Myanmar, which does not recognize them as children of citizens. Without birth certificates they cannot enroll in schools. Moreover, they face severe nutritional imbalance, with a lack of proper medical facilities.
The babies are aged between 1 day and 3 months old. The approach was to show the babies not as refugees, but as innocent as any other baby would be. The colorful backdrops are blankets given to Rohingya families as relief aid that metaphorically represents the refugee status of these babies. These photographs are meant to provoke doubts around the future of babies born in an alien place where they have no rights and no statehood and are ultimately meant to show that children are the worst sufferers in any conflict, anywhere.
Turjoy Chowdhury is an independent Documentary Photojournalist and multimedia artist based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He mostly works on humanitarian issues and crisis. He did his graduation in Architecture from BRAC University. He is involved in different art medias from his childhood and has achieved several awards and honors in those fields. He deeply fell in love with photography by exploring the visual art medias and it has become his passion.
His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, BBC, Al Jazeera, WNN, Feature Shoot, Life Force Magazine, Zone Zero, Foto8, Ethic Magazine, Aksgar magazine, Foto Evidience, Fotovisura, ND Magazine, Private Magazine, Dodho Magazine, CFYE, Fotoritim, F- stop magazine, etc and exhibited internationally, such as: LensCulture Emerging Talent Exhibition; USA (New York), C40 Mayor Summit 2016; Mexico, Doc Day Photography Exhibition; Turkey, Ian Parry Exhibition 2016; London, Venice Biennale 2016; Italy, Delhi Photo Festival 2013; India, etc. His projects got nominated and shortlisted for several grants: Photogrvphy Grant 2016, Ian Parry Scholarship 2016, MRO Foundation Grant 2016, Lucie Foundation Scholarship 2015, etc. He achieved different international awards: NPPA best of Photojournalism 2018, LensCulture Emerging Talent Award 2017, Picture of the Year International 2017, Emerging Talent Award 2015; Jessica Lum Award 2014; Future Voice Jury Award 2014, in Eye time photo contest, Photophilanthropy activist award 2013 etc.
Finalist Gallery with Captions
The Invisible Photographer Awards 2018 is proudly supported by G-Technology AP, Sony Singapore, GetIT Comms, Grenadier Press, Exactly Foundation, Photo Kathmandu, Spoon Creative and Objectifs – Centre for Photography and Film.