The ongoing genocide of Rohingya people in western Myanmar (also known as Burma) remains almost ignored by world media. Displaced from their homes, attacked by the military, interned in refugee camps and driven across the border into neighbouring Bangladesh, the Rohingya have become known as one of the world’s most persecuted people.
Last year, photographer Ali MC visited Rohingya refugee and internally displaced peoples’ camps in Myanmar and Bangladesh. His aim was to photograph Rohingya people, document their living conditions and better understand the events that forced them into this situation.
Unlike the photojournalism of poverty and angst, Ali MC also wanted to portray Rohingya as a people with pride and determination, despite their adverse living conditions. The portraits included in Rohingya: Refugee Crisis in Colour accomplish just that — strength and resilience captured on camera.
The photos were taken at considerable risk — Ali MC was even arrested in Bangladesh, detained and questioned by the Bangladeshi army. The result is an engaging, eye-opening and beautifully shot exhibition that will prompt viewers to further explore the challenges facing Rohingya people.
Ali MC is a photographer, writer and musician and human rights law masters student. As well as travelling extensively overseas, he has also lived in remote Aboriginal communities teaching music and learning language. His first full-length book The Eyeball End was published in 2015. Last year, he produced a fourth album Urban Cleansing through his music collective New Dub City.
Rohingya: Refugee Crisis in Colour is presented by City of Yarra and Prism Imaging, and is also featured as part of the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival. A photo book is available, with proceeds going towards Rohingya refugee relief.