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Born Refugee

Turjoy Chowdhury | Bangladesh

Unnamed, 18 day old, born in Balukhali Rohingya refugee camp, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.

This series of photographs depict portraits of babies who crossed the Myanmar-Bangladesh border while remaining in the womb of Rohingya women during the Military crackdown in the Rakhaine state, Myanmar and were born at the refugee camps inside Bangladesh. The future of these babies are called into doubt in the context of them being "Stateless". Neither Bangladesh nor Myanmar recognizes them as their citizen.
The babies in the photographs are aged between 1 day and 3 months old. The approach was to show the babies not as refugees, but as innocent as any other baby would be. The colorful backdrops are blankets given to Rohingya families as relief aid that metaphorically represents the refugee status of these babies. These photographs are meant to provoke doubts around the future of babies born in an alien place where they have no rights and no statehood and are ultimately meant to show that children are the worst sufferers in any conflict, anywhere.

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