Rohingya in Bangladesh: Unrecognized, Unprotected, and Unassisted by Javier Arcenillas

Friday, March 5, 2010 by bg
Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) posted a set of photos taken by Spanish photojournalist Javier Arcenillas recently on their Facebook page, and the photos were so beautiful I thought them worth sharing.

Javier Arcenillas' website is legit but it seems like he used the cheapest online translator available to translate the passages from Spanish to English. Check out his portfolio here. Ignore the arrogant sections about "what makes a good photographer", etc. If you don't speak Spanish you're better off not seeing this dudes arrogance. All that aside, his pictures are gorgeous and this story in particular is incredible to look at.

I thought placing each picture next to eachother with no line breaks had a cool blending effect, gives a pleasant feeling of continuity of color palette. Really beautiful.

I think that the internet, especially social networking sites like Facebook, and the whole idea of viral distribution of information is a huge tool for spreading awareness. There are 248,243 fans of MSF's Facebook page, meaning that a large portion of that number recieve updates daily via their feed. What that awareness inspires is another story. Hopefully it inspires action. Or at least donation. Or at the very least education. It's hard to "put your ideals into practice", as MSF says.

I'm not one for tyrading about international humanitarian crises to people who don't ask, but it would be beyond retarded to post these pictures without talking about the conflict that they're depicting. This special report from MSF's official website outlines the current situation, the history of the region and conflict, and what MSF is doing there. Excerpt:
Stateless Rohingya people in Bangladesh are currently victims to unprecedented levels of violence and attempts at forced repatriation. Recent weeks have seen thousands of people arrive at Kutupalong makeshift camp as they flee what appears to be a violent crackdown on the Rohingya presence in the country. At its clinic in Kutupalong, in Cox’s Bazar District in the south of the country, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has treated victims of beatings and harassment by the authorities and members of the community. The victims are people who have been driven from their shelters throughout the district and in some cases forced back into the river which forms the border to neighboring Myanmar.
Since October 2009, the camp has grown by 6,000 people, with 2,000 of these arriving in January 2010 alone. Without official recognition, they are prevented from supporting themselves, and are not permitted to receive official relief. As the numbers swell, nearly 29,000 people find themselves camped on a patch of ground with no infrastructure to support them, posing a serious threat to health. Action is needed now to stop this humanitarian crisis.
MSF has delivered healthcare to the Rohingya and their host communities in Bangladesh since 1992.

The best way to help (unless you're willing to work in the field, obv) is to give cash. When giving to MSF it's nice to know that your money is well spent and appreciated. In my opinion. But what do I know. Brad and Angelina give to them. Need I say more?

I want to do post in future re: the scams that exist within charity organizations, payment structures for upper management, abuse of tax exeptions, etc. Another day.

Posted in | 2 Comments »


r.s. said...

compelling photography.

Will Champ said...

do not read anything arrogant!
you speak Spanish!

habla usted Espanol?

"Cualquiera puede hacer fotos pero no todos son fotógrafos"
"Anyone can take pictures but not all photographers"

The pics.... guau!!!!!! its wonderful

need to read better in other languages, change the text

Post a Comment