1st Rohingya Photography Competition 2020
In March of 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic spread throughout the world, the forecasts were dire for the Rohingya living in the refugee camps of Bangladesh. The camps are congested places with a very high population density and rudimentary sanitation. Access to water was challenging in many of the camps (and remains so). The preparedness of the entire Cox’s Bazar region of Bangladesh, where the camps are situated, was a source of concern. Compounding this, the refugees did not have access to the internet. Bangladesh had restricted their access to 3G/4G internet services.
This exceptionally worrying set of circumstances provided the impetus for holding the Rohingya Photography Competition. The camps became out of bounds for journalists and aid workers in the strict lockdown that was ordered. Documentation of the daily challenges of existence within the refugee camps therefore fell to the Rohingya themselves. The competition had two simple and broad themes - “Response to Covid-19” and “Rohingya Life.” There was also a Photo series category (no specific genre). Over 1600 images were submitted for competition.
On 5th December 2020, a very successful online prize ceremony was live streamed on Facebook. Over 2000 people watched it live. Liza Boschin, Documentary Maker with RAI 3, was the judge. She was joined by El Laskar of Oxford Human Rights Festival, Rohingya activist, Nay San Lwin, Professor John Packer of the University of Ottawa, Dr Ambia Perveen and Shafiur Rahman, the organiser of the competition.
The prize ceremony can be viewed here
Abul Kalam, First Prize winner - Rohingya response to Covid-19 category
Ro Mehrooz, First Prize winner - Rohingya Life category
Norul Ameen - First Prize winner, Photo series category
Mohammed Hossain - Second Prize winner, Rohingya response to Covid-19 category
Jamal Arkani - Second Prize winner, Rohingya Life category
Abul Kalam - Second Prize winner, Photo series category
Dil Kayas - Third Prize Winner, Rohingya response to Covid-19 category
Mohammed Salim Khan - Third Prize Winner, Rohingya Life category
Abdullah Khin Maung - Third Prize Winner, Photo series category
We invited various notable individuals to submit images in support of the competition and to help build awareness (see below). The original page can be viewed here if you wish to see the individual submissions.