This series was made in ‘Puran Dhaka’, which translates, to ‘Old Dhaka’. The ancestral connection between the Artist and Puran Dhaka goes back several hundred years. Wandering around this energetic part of the city Nafis encounters the rawness and intensity of life. The manifestations of the images are inspired by the stories the Artist heard as a child from his grandmother, the poetries he read, the families living there, the artist’s time growing up there, the smell of the foods, and reflecting the energy in that time and space.


I remember as a child going to my grandmother’s house in Old Dhaka on the day of Ashura to watch the matam (mourning) procession. As the procession would pass by, I would watch the intense self-flagellation of the mourners with zanjeer (chain) and talwar (sword), chanting ‘Ya Hussein”. 

The photographic series was made in 2012 as I walked along the mourners through the city.


I can’t photograph people I am not friends with, there needs to be that connection. I
need to find that something I am looking for. After my under graduation in Denmark,
2008, I came back to Bangladesh and started photographing my friends and friends of
friends. The work departed off from an “urgency” to depict the beauty of the diversity
of gender & sexuality.

I spent a year hanging-out without photographing. My thoughts were clear. I need to
celebrate each individual. My days spent in fluid conversations with the participants,
worked as a catharsis where they could ventilate their inner thoughts, while I made an
account of the stories of challenges, believes, and desires. Over the period of my practice I recognized that art is the highest form of hope, sowing the seed of tolerance.

The photographs are in black & white medium. I delicately used a lush technique to
embody the intimacy, humaneness, exuberance and warmth. The photography
sessions are a collaborative process, where the interactions suggests the postures,
expressions, and situations which are then explored from different angles, using a fixed
lens camera. We move in and out. The process continues without interruption and
sometimes conversation takes place in between.

I go through the exciting process to celebrate the joy of diverse existence. It is the
meetings. The manifestation of the experience. The darkroom. The light. The shadow.
The highlight. The details. The fine grain. The print. The configuration. The series is like
a family album that conjures up a vigorous memory. The photographs are the
lifeworlds in which my friends make bid for happiness.

The series contains photographs, drawing and writings. The limited editioned photographic prints are produced in museum-grade archival gelatin silver print, framed with matte-finished wood, and protected with museum-grade anti-reflective & UV-protected acrylic.

The drawings and writing are installed as murals on the wall.


Chapter III



Chapter II



The “Lovers and Leavers” is a series of fragments of intimate moments. The humaneness and the dehumanized pushes each other, plays on each other, and ends balancing like the weighing scale.

The artist receives invitations to meet strangers to learn about their journey and life stories. He travels with metros, trams, trains, cars, and planes to distant cities in different countries to meet lovers and leavers.



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