Rohingyas. A life of Burma's Muslims (2013 - present)

Rohingyas people are a Muslim ethnic minority. They live in the Burmese state of Arakan (Rakhine) located in the west of the country and adjacent to Bangladesh. They give way to the Buddhist Arakans, with whom they have been in hostile relations for several decades. Under the Act on Nationalities from 1982, the Government of Burma officially does not recognize the Rohingyas as a separate group. This stance was supported by the controversial and methodologically questionable official list of 135 "nations" of Burma, which eventually ruled out Rohingyas from the society. As an unrecognized ethnic group, they are treated by the Burmese government as illegal immigrants, and consequently on the land they have been living for generations, they remain stateless. The Rohingyas persecution is systemic, and the exodus from 2017, in which 630,000 Rohingyas fled from Burma to Bangladesh, is a recurring chord in the drama that has been going on for four decades. This documentary project is a record of the history of the heroes and fates of the persecuted Rohingya community, cruelly ruled out from the society. 

Major dates on timeline of Rohingya project:

  • In 2013, Marcin Zaborowski (National Geographic Polska) and Paweł Skawiński (Polish Press Agency) set off to Bangladesh to find and tell the Rohingya story. They conducted 40 interviews with refugees, talked to Rohingyas who live in Bangladesh for years, to social activists working with refugees, former UN workers, and other non-governmental organisations. This story was published in National Geographic Polska in 2014 under the title of "Exiles".
  • In 2016 Skawiński and Zaborowski worked together in Burma inside camps for Internally Displaced Persons near Sittwe city. 
  • In 2017, Zaborowski worked in Bangladesh on aftermath of exodus, in which 630,000 Rohingyas fled from Burma to Bangladesh.
  • In 2018, Skawiński and Zaborowski are working together on the last part of the project.

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