THE BITTER-SWEET TASTE AND SMILES OF BANGLADESH
At the exhibition of the photographs captured in the Roma settlement – Bangladesh, visitors could have seen that OPENS continued to raise awareness on the integration of young people from the vulnerable layers of society.
A month ago, a group of OPENS volunteers arrived to Bangladesh with the project initiators, Jelena Karać and Mladen Ilić, who introduced themselves to the young Roma people through different creative and entertaining activities. However, the idea was to keep the story live even after that. Therefore, our today’s story goes – with the idea and willingness of OPENS volunteers to capture every moment in that part of the city.
Katarina Agbaba, whose photographs from the activity in Bangladesh were exhibited at the OPENS premises, says that taking the photographs was very spontaneous and there was no lack of smiles in the frames.
“This was an extremely challenging task for me because never before had I took photos of children and I did not know how they would react. They were shy at the beginning, but we tried to relax them by playing different games we brought. While I was taking photographs, I did not expect my work to be exhibited publicly. When they offered me to make an exhibit, I was very happy to accept it, because I wanted to share with people what we had experienced there and to show the equality among us, because that it what is shown in the photos – everyone laughing together while playing.”
The photos therefore became the exhibition which was completed by a documentary film from the same activity. Dušan Živić, second-year student of production, in the most realistic way, showed how young Roma people had spent their time with the OPENS team and the activities prepared for them through a short film.
“I think that it is great that the whole social community can see that people who are very close to the city live some lives completely different from ours, and a type of event like this helps an image of a vulnerable layer of society to go public and make people aware” one of the visitors of the exhibition says.
And that was actually the idea – to relocate OPENS from the centre and make it closer to young people in other parts of the city.
“We have come to the idea before the activity in Bangladesh itself, which is, in a way, our fight against the discrimination and hate speech towards the young Roma. We divided that into two activities, the first one is going there and the second one included the capturing of mutual moments in the form of photographs and videos, and then organising the exhibition. Our goal is to bring young people from the general population together with young people from Bangladesh, whose visit to the exhibition is also planned. Our idea is to continue to organise the exhibitions as the form of the activity, and we will also continue to work with young people from Bangladesh. We have reached the desired results from the exhibition, because there was a lot of media representatives and visitors, and thereby our message went to the world and got its echo” Jelena Karać and Mladen Ilić, the initiators of the activities in Bangladesh explain.
The number of visitors of the OPENS corner, with the photographs which will remain as a reminder, provide the evidence on how, for at least one night, OPENS managed to relocate Bangladesh from outside the city and to bring it in the centre city, under the lights of media and interested visitors.