Rohingya… Ro-who?

I was invited to attend an informational evening by the kind folks at Oxfam last week.

The Rohingya Community here in Queensland is educating the general public on the horrible conditions their community is facing back in Myanmar right now.  They are essentially a displaced community, denied residency and actively discriminated against (which has recently escalated to extreme violence) even though the people have been in the same place for generations.

I did a little research when I received the invitation and realized that I could potentially make some amazing portraits…  and at the same time, provide the Rohingya community here in Australia (struggling for recognition and change within the international community) some powerful images that they might use in their campaign.

Sujauddin (a member of the Rohingya who emigrated here as a boy) is an incredibly engaging and charismatic personality working here to stop the violence abroad and provide a voice to hundreds of thousands of people, silenced and denied any freedom at all.

I had my own little corner that evening and invited everyone who was willing to stand in front of the camera for a special little photo session.  We had a great time. and the teenage boys definitely got the most out of my presence…

Transient

But, of course, the stars of the show are always the older folks and the little ones…  The little kids were the bravest and jumped in front of the camera first.  They all brought a surprising degree of presence to the images.

And then, there’s the wisdom inherent in certain faces that really light up the lens…

I had a great time, learned a lot, met passionate people, ate amazing food, created great images… It was a fantastic night and hopefully, my images can help add some uplifting faces to their cause…