‘This is our documentary of the crisis we face’: the Rohingya smartphone photographers


, 29/08/2022, 5:00 am

Refugees who have fled Myanmar describe the risks and their sense of duty – as well as joy – in recording life around them in the sprawling camps of Bangladesh

The camera of a budget smartphone has become a way for many of the Rohingya stuck in Bangladesh’s refugee camps to tell their own stories, capturing photos of their lives in the camps, which became the world’s largest when 700,000 people fled the Myanmar military five years ago, joining 300,000 who had already sought refuge across the border.

These photographers, who are all under 30, are building a record of the culture and traditions they fear could be lost so far from home, and have sharpened their skills during floods and fires and other all too frequent moments of crisis.

Zaudha, 40, stares out over the smouldering remains of her home after the largest of the camp fires, in March 2021, when 50,000 lost their homes. The smoke and heat was still too intense for her to go down to the exact spot she lived in.

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