Honorable Mention TOKYO-2017 Editorial / Photo Essay

Survivor; survived against all the odds

  • Photographer
    Farida Alam

In Bangladesh, the nomadic community, known, as Bede community is a unique social group of people with distinctive culture and heritage. The Bede used to live, travel, and earn their living on the river. Nowadays this scenario cannot be traced much.     This photo series represents the story of a pregnant Bede woman named Dulary who already had four children when she gave birth to her fifth child and it’s a boy. During their pregnancy the traditional midwives of the society always guide them. They never visit doctors unless it becomes crucial. It is a tradition of Bede community that children take birth with the help of the traditional midwives. When someone has labor pain, a group usually leaves their work and stays to support the pregnant woman. Also, the other groups who go to work share their earning with the women who stay home. Such a wonderful tradition and bonding they share which makes them unique.   It’s true that the birth process is unhygienic and different statistics can be shown which will prove that the percentage of vaccination rate during pregnancy is low, children don’t get immunization properly, but this is the way they are leading their lives for decades. Among all the pessimism I found them happy. This is a fact that they are far away from all the basic needs but this is the way they are living lives for years. I wanted to explore the birth process in Bede community, who has survived against all odds.

I am Farida Alam. Professionally I come from a business background but Photography is my passion. Exploring people and their different cultures is the area of my interest. My inspiration for photography comes from the people and my surroundings. I love to meet people from different communities and experience other cultures. I have completed basic and foundation courses on Photography from “Pathshala South Asian Media Institute" and later on completed my Diploma from Alliance Française de Dhaka. I have participated in workshops conducted by Abir Abdullah, Saiful Huq Omi, and GMB Akash.