Only because they are women
For Farzana Hossen from Bangladesh photographs are a way to document what is happening – the beauty of life, but also the brutality of life.
Publisert: 03.05.2020 Redigert: 03.05.2020
TEKST: Oona Solberg, Coordinator, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Journalism and Media Studies, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Studies
Article from iFOKUS 1/2017.
“Lingering scars” she called her first project, later it was renamed “Only because they are women” – a story about women who have died and survived acid, kerosene and petrol burn attacks – their injuries caused by their intimate partners, spouses, boyfriends, or the persons whom they refused to love.
Her last project is documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis.
– I understand Rohingya language and if I get work as a fixer I do it to raise money for my own project on Rohynga refugees, she says.
She was searching for the echo of her own experiences, as a very young married woman. The search led her into slums, around in the country, and also to other countries. Her pictures have been exhibited in Hong Kong, London, Istanbul, Cyprus, Cairo, Fredrikstad for example – and next spring at the Perugia Social Photo Fest. Her work has been awarded by the prestigious Ian Perry Scholarship, the Alexia Foundation student award of excellence and published in media all over the world.
She grew up in Chittagong, the second city of Bangladesh, and became part of a group around Photobank Gallery. Later she left for Dhaka to study at Pathshala, South Asian Media Academy. From 2007 she cooperated with Norwegian photojournalists. Now she is struggling to survive in a fierce local market.
She calls herself a visual artist. Commitment and stamina has brought her to where she is today, and what makes her different from many other young photographers. A burning heart and very difficult work over many years.
For her, the camera can be vehicle to tell a story about what is happening to women – documenting the personal story of the survivors of violence, their everyday struggles, their suffering and their resilience.
And the stories stays with her: “Still I can feel the pain of the thousands of women who are victims of violence”, she writes.