Arafat Siraji

living to tell the tale
Location: Aarhus, Denmark
Nationality: Bangladesh
Biography: Arafat Bin Siraji, a photographer based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He completed his Professional Photography Program from Pathshala South Asian Media Institue. He also studied Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the University of Applied... read on
Trying to speculate the image to be photographed to understand the language of emotions, which confines my world; and, dazedly it has been coined, my time dimension a bit messy.

The same old-fashioned mindless state prevails outside the window, interrupting the thought even at midnight. There is always this complex situation that hackles me incessantly to be in line with my speculation. Can these millions of pixels lead me to the connotations? Can those crack the code of my queries? Or else they will be swallowed in the deep sea of pixels? 

The confusion began, when I started photography at an early age. I was vigorously in search of my family albums to know and recognize more about my hereditary norms and cultural influences. It all crashed down into pieces when I came to know all of my family albums were burnt down by my sister out of childish impulse.

I have barely any memory left from childhood and the tender ages I grew through. I didn’t understand how to deal with it. It left me with outright shock; I have to live with the fact that all of the family photographs are lost forever.

In that time, my life was constantly upset by a tangle of stunts, bluffs, and hallucinations expected to outwit the countless attractions that tempted to transform me into anything but a photographer. My intuition compelled me to make exposures on pixels.

I started making photographs of my family and distance started to appear between me and my family. They thought that I was moving apart and was being self-centered, only because I was turned onto doing photography. All of a sudden, I  felt like an outsider.

But I was always certain that my family was the most important part of my life and my identity. My family, whom I am photographing is the actual owner of the photographs. The expensive apparels, mystical magic of mother’s cooking skill, sister’s donation in confidence, a big to-get list to father – everything affected my lifespan directly but this camera possesses my life as an impediment to all mundane affinity.

The camera created the distance. But I continue to photograph.

They sit for my photographs, I stage photographs; they are irritated at times, at other times they love to be photographed and like the pictures. With these internal disputes about my identity as a photographer and my relation with my family, I started looking at the photographs I took in the past few years.

Looking at the photographs I realized that through these photographs my memories of my father, mother sisters will remain timeless. Maybe that was an urge that pushed me to make these family photographs, to tell this story about my family through which I stand as a photographer now.