Slide Amnesty International UK / Media Awards AWARD CATEGORIES

Rohingya refugees sketch their life stories through ‘grassroot comics’

Al Jazeera English

Description:

Tasnim Nazeer gets eye witness testimonies of those Rohingya Muslims in India who are sketching their stories of fleeing Myanmar and creating comics of their life stories. Rohingya refugees in India can now document their life stories in a comic book, thanks to a collaborative effort by two non-government organisations based in the capital New Delhi. The comic titled Rendered Stateless Not Voiceless was put together by World Comics India, a collective that promotes comics as a communication and empowerment tool for the marginalised section of society.The idea was formed as a collaboration between the Rohingya Human Rights Initiative (RHRI) and World Comics India, driven by the idea that a “comic book can be used as a medium to give a voice to the voiceless”.

I got photographs and interviewed all the participants and organisers of the initiative such as World Comics India and Ali Johar from the Rohingya Human Rights Initiative and was able to highlight the creative platform they have given to Rohingyas to create their own illustrations and comics voicing their experiences of facing persecution and human rights violations.

Synopsis:

This piece reached a wide audience and had a positive response from many people around the world who took an interest in the creative approach used to document the Rohingya’s lived experiences. This was a very innovative method of enabling underrepresented voices to be heard and I was so grateful to obtain the story and get access to these hard to reach contacts to document a very colourful and inspiring initiative.

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