may 2004 -

Migrantsoul, 01-05-2004

Migrantsoul displays photographs of migrants from Bangladesh, throughout Asia and Europe. Internationally-renowned photographer Shahidul Alam followed the trail of migrants and refugees, registering it in photographs and on video.

Migrantsoul is a website about borders. The site shows that the borders of countries are not the only barriers that migrants must pass. For the poor of Bangladesh, migration seems to be the only way to avoid their fate. To them migration is not only a means to achieve economic freedom, Alam explains, but also a passport for social mobility.

The photographs create a feeling of displacement. A photograph of a pair of strong laced shoes tells about the life of a migrant in Nepal. At home his feet were always bare; in Nepal he must get used to wearing shoes. Another photograph portrays a cleaning woman in an abandoned lecture theatre. The accompanying text explains that she works at a university in Singapore. Sometimes she hears rich female students from Bangladesh talking in her native tongue. But if she tries to talk with them, they pretend they do not understand the language.