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Reflection of dispersed soul; hidden for years

Farida Alam | Bangladesh

Sheela: If God made me a boy physically then why my mind always dreams like a girl? Can u solve this puzzle of my life !

In Bangladesh, Hijra is a social group, where people are defined either as transsexual or as men who become women by adopting womanhood. They express themselves through cross-dressing. Whatever destiny has given them they can’t change but at least they can expect acceptance in our society.

When I decided to work on the Third Gender I found a resemblance between broken mirror and their life.

In my photo series, the red background in the broken mirror is the symbol of the colorful world, which doesn’t accept them. The broken mirror is the symbol of the disparity between body and mind. It also symbolizes the reality of shattered dreams.

On the other hand, by adopting womanhood they try to forget their abuses and tortures and stay happy but they do not get acceptance in our society. Our cruel society shuts door for them. The black background reflects this feeling.

I wanted to explore their life just to make my viewers understand that the third genders are like normal human beings who need empathy rather than sympathy.

My inspiration for photography comes from the people and my surroundings. I love to experience other cultures, meet different people from diverse communities.

I believe in immersion photography and spend months listening, observing and talking with my subjects over the course of a project. Photography has become a part of my identity - a force that makes me think, feel and understand human being and the human condition. My work on third gender people, “Reflection of dispersed soul”, hidden for years has brought me various international award and recognition.

My other individual works have got me recognition of various national and international arenas.

Currently, I am working with different social groups that are deprived of basic human needs. However, at the same time, I am exploring their traditional lifestyle and learning from it.

I have completed basic and foundation courses from “Pathshala South Asian Media Institute “. Later on, I also participated in a documentary photography course of Counter Photo, another renowned photography institute of Bangladesh.Currently, I am pursuing Diploma in photography from Alliance Francaise de Dhaka. I am a lifetime member of “Bangladesh Photographic Society (BPS)” and also a member of PSA (Photographic Society of America.


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