Says Sumi: Born into a strange universe where caged birds can sing but cannot fly, where our love is unloved, yet to die. Is everything untrue or are we? In my state of Bangladesh, the LGBTQ community is suppressed. In our state of Bangladesh, the people believe in the written word blindly. Words that were written more than a thousand and five hundred years ago in a foreign land. Words that cannot be changed. In their state of Bangladesh, the LGBTQ community is not allowed to love who they want. Their love is illegal. They get hacked to death for expressing their love. Their love is a sin to be cleansed.
At a certain phase of existence, these individuals start to unfold their inner psyches. They began to apprehend their substantive identities. They diverge from the notion of mainstream society and the fanatical belief they were brought up with. This societal and religious perimeter censured their rights and equality which has shaped a circumstances for most of them to transit into new forms of belief where they will be accepted in their own terms, with freedom of expression. Whereas some stops believing and live on.
This work visualizes the passage of transitioning of a community of individuals that explore their love, hope and fantasy; fanatical angst, homophobic isolation and their struggle to be perceived as who they are: human.
Sumi Anjuman was born in Bogra, in North Bengal, Bangladesh, in 1989. Having grown up in a conservative family, her love for the freedom and equality grew tremendously, as time passes by. Being a woman and to be brought up in this Islamic conservative society, has always been a fight within her existence. This has taught her to connect and understand other’s story within the same perimeter.
She has always been fascinated by the stories and issues that are deemed controversial in the society. Sumi’s images are part of subtle protest to make this society a better place. Her works are collaboration between her and those, whose story she’s narrating. It felt that the dialogues between Sumi and her friends, opens up many new perspectives for life which inspires her every day to work further. She completed MBA degree in business administration from the University of Dhaka. Later, her enthusiasm for photography has brought her into Pathshala where she is currently enrolled in Pathshala’s 3 years program of photography (3rd year 2nd semester, now). Sumi currently lives and work in Dhaka.