TOKYO-2017 Editorial / Conflict

Letters from Arakan

  • Prize
    Silver in Editorial/Conflict
  • Photographer
    Adib Chowdhury

Whilst documenting the Rohingya crisis I knew I was witnessing one of history's "never again" moments. But their voices were lacking in my coverage and I was wary of their plight being reduced to statistics, just as when I covered Syrian refugees fleeing into Europe. To counter this, I set about working on a portrait series in parallel to handwritten letters and audio clips in which the Rohingya recounted the horrific attacks. All had just arrived into Bangladesh. I asked the Rohingya to share any messages they had for the international community and the Myanmar government. The messages lay out the violence that August 25th unfurled in brutal honesty. The Rohingya were being forcefully removed from their historical homeland in Myanmar in an area historically known as 'Arakan'. The UN has since denounced the "counter-terrorist clearance operations" of the Myanmar military as "textbook ethnic cleansing." At the heart of this project is the Rohingya's voice. This is what they said...