Komola Collective presents

Komola Collective Presents ‘Banishanta: World of Sinners’ – A Solo Exhibition by the Award Winning Photographer Shahadat Hossain  


Banishanta is a tiny island in Bangladesh, constantly under the threat of the rising waters - consists of 150 women and girls who live and work as sex-workers inside a state-licensed brothel. This exhibition explores their stories by the award winning photographer Shahadat Hossain. 


"When I reached the Banishantaghat - locally referred as the ‘Banishanta Para (brothel)’, it felt like I had left the city and entered a different world altogether - the world of the condemned. 

Many of the chhokris (enslaved sex workers) are underage. Unregistered at birth, none of them know their own birthdates, and they don’t have any proof of identity. Officially these girls do not exist, so it is nearly impossible for them to leave the island for a better life after they complete their terms as enslaved sex-workers. Some of the girls are runaways who left home to escape poor conditions or bad marriages, and ended up at the brothels where their lives get written-off. Many others have been abducted and sold to a Madam by a parent or relative. Others were born into the brothels. They must take 5-10 clients a day, and most of them don’t receive any money, as they must first repay the people who bought them." 


World of Sinners

Exhibition by Award-Winning
Photographer Shahadat Hossain

Mezzanine Gallery, Rich Mix  

Private View: 1st February | 6-8pm

Public View: 2nd - 26th February


Shahadat Hossein was one of two Directors of Photography for Komola Collective’s feauture documentary - Rising Silence - following the lives of the survivors of the mass rape that occured during the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh shot in November and December 2015. He is currently working on the ongoing feature documentary

Different Border, based on the life styles of transgender individuals in Bangladesh, India and Nepal.

Shahadat is a film production expert with more than eight years’ experience working on international and domestic media projects as a director, assistant director, cinematographer, photographer and fixer.  He has worked for Bishari films (Canada), Lotus films (Austria), Mortal Coil Media (UK) and Big Blue Communications. He also worked as a cinematographer on the Sundarbans documentary by the Tiger Team UK and on the Rana Plaza documentary by Norway Television.  He has also directed and filmed two of his own short documentaries.


Shahadat started his career as a freelance photographer, and since then has received more than ten international photography awards and participated in twelve international exhibitions in the US, UK, Japan and beyond. Shahadat has also worked with prominent European documentary filmmaker Michael Glowgger. He did his MA in English Literature and completed a Post Graduation Diploma in cinematography from The Asian Academy of Film and Television, India.

Digby Gallery, Mercury Theatre
      Public View: 24th August - 25th September