Photographer Greg Constantine has dedicated a decade of his life to exposing the tragedy of statelessness. His photos capture the trauma and hopelessness that afflict the millions of people who are not citizens of any country, including the million Rohingyas who were born in and rejected by Myanmar.
Last November, Constantine was blocked by the Myanmar government from entering the country to attend his exhibition Nowhere People in Yangon, which heavily covers the plight of the Rohingya.
To roughly coincide with World Refugee Day, which was June 20, the photographer released the seven-minute video “Exiled To Nowhere-Burma’s Rohingya“, which includes footage from his 12 visits over nine years to Rohingya communities in Bangladesh and Myanmar.
“Today, millions of stateless people around the world continue to struggle to secure their right to equality, access to justice, and recognition in the places they call home. Discrimination, racism, intolerance, and the failure of governments and the international community continue to fuel and perpetuate the statelessness of so many men, woman, children, and entire communities around the world, including the Rohingya in Burma,” the photographer wrote in a Facebook post accompanying the video.
The video contains scenes of squalor in displaced persons’ camps and scenes of tension as police loom over the Rohingyas’ open-air prisons, as well as the quotidian labor of fishermen, trishaw drivers, and parents, all trying to make a life despite their political paralysis. It also shows the rage and intolerance of the Myanmar public, which helps keeps the Rohingya in these conditions.
The video also includes audio recordings Constantine recorded over those nine years.
In the video description, he writes: “It hopefully presents a view of how their situation continues to worsen and how little has been accomplished by those inside Burma and internationally to end the ongoing destruction of this community.”
The video is a doleful reminder of the privileges of citizenship and the cruelty of the powers that confer it. We hope you check it out below: