Project Einstein Bangladesh
“Einstein Was A Refugee But Could Still Do Great Things”

The thought of not being able to return home is unbearable to some, a stark reality for others. We have spent more than five years with people who face this truth: refugees, illegal migrants and other people whose lives are dictated by countries whose laws exclude them. Working with Rohingya living in Bangladesh, we encountered a people for whom the very idea of home is elusive.

For generations, the Rohingya people lived in what is now western Burma, building mosques, raising families, and tilling fields. As their country transitioned from a British colony to a fledgling democracy and then to a military dictatorship, their existence became increasingly tenuous. A 1982 law stripped them of their citizenship, codifying discrimination, denial of civil and human rights, restriction of movement and marriage, and persecution of their Muslim faith. Burma’s military regime claims the Rohingya are not “originally from Myanmar,” rendering them stateless by denying their history.

Illegal in the only home they have known, many flee to Bangladesh—more than 250,000 in the past two decades. Some 26,000 officially registered refugees live in two government-run camps, but the rest are undocumented, unprotected by any laws or governments. Living on the fringes of an already impoverished society, they struggle for daily survival.

These are the stories of 11 children ages 9-14 living in a refugee camp in Bangladesh. They had never seen a camera before nor been given the opportunity to express themselves freely.The topics they chose and the thoughts they expressed are their own.

11 refugee children + 4 cameras = 1 project Einstein
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