Photographs of Rohingya refugees showcased in Manchester Museum's South Asia Gallery

Nine images have been selected for display, showcasing the talents and perspectives of the refugees

A significant milestone has been reached by Rohingya refugees from the camps, as their documentary photographs will be displayed at the South Asia Gallery in Manchester Museum. 

This achievement was made possible after their works were spotted by the curators of the new gallery, a British Museum partnership, according to a press release issued on Friday.

In total, nine images have been selected for display, showcasing the talents and perspectives of the refugees.

These refugees are regular contributors to the Rohingya Photography Competition (RPC), a platform dedicated to showcasing Rohingya documentary photography. 

Shafiur Rahman, the organizer of RPC, expressed his excitement about the inclusion of the photographs in the museum's collection. 

"I am absolutely thrilled that the South Asia Gallery have decided to include these photographs as part of their collection," he said. "It is testament to the hard work and risks these refugees take to capture and document their lives."

Mohammed Hossain, one of the Rohingya refugees exhibiting at the museum, expressed hope that the international community would gain a better understanding of their circumstances through these photos. "We're very much hopeful that the international community can get a glimpse of the true dimension of the conditions we face through these photos," he said.

Manchester Museum, part of The University of Manchester, first opened in 1890 and is recognized as one of the largest university museums in the United Kingdom. The museum reopened to the public on 18 February 2023 following its most ambitious transformation in a generation, which was supported by £15 million in funding from Arts Council England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The University of Manchester, and numerous philanthropic supporters.

The South Asia Gallery, in partnership with the British Museum, aims to present a contemporary take on South Asian and British Asian culture. It is the first permanent gallery in the UK to celebrate the experiences and contributions of the South Asian diaspora, displaying world-class material from the British Museum alongside the best of South Asian collections in Manchester. 

The gallery has been designed and built with the South Asia Gallery Collective, a diverse group of community leaders, educators, artists, historians, journalists, scientists, musicians, students, and others from the South Asian diaspora, collaborating and co-producing in a unique spirit.

Fatima Shaban, co-curator of the South Asia Gallery, highlighted the themes of the collection. "This collection of photographs taken by Rohingya refugees focuses on the figure of the child and its complex relationship with the consequences of genocide and forced migration. This is primarily examined through images of fire. Fires continually devastate the camps, increasing mortality rates."

The talented Rohingya refugees whose photographs will be exhibited at the South Asia Gallery are Ro Yassin Abdumonab, Haider Ali, Salim Ullah Armany, Mohammed Hossain, and Mainul Islam.