Best Work by an Emerging Photographer | Winner

Mohammad Fahim Ahamed Riyad


Children of the dead river


Dhaka is one of the most densely populated cities of the world. 44% people of the city are deprived of any sort of housing facilities. The Buriganga river is the heart of the city and once provided the city with life. The river is now vastly discussed, because of its pollution and many other negative activities. But, thankfully it also provides shelter for many homeless children, who have no other place to live. Most of the children living around the river work in factories near the river with very low wages. Children are often seen looking for food in garbage on the dead river or for bottles which were thrown in the river, so that they can sell them at the market with their uniquely made boats. Some dead bodies of newborn babies are also seen floating in the river which are thrown away as undesirables.


Mohammad Fahim Ahamed Riyad lebt in Bangladesch und ist Fotografie-Student und freier Dokumentarfotograf. Schon während seines ersten Studiums zum Ingenieur für Elektronik hat er autodidaktisch als Fotograf gearbeitet. Derzeit studiert er Fotografie im Masterstudiengang an der Pathshala South Asian Media Academy und hat für seine fotografischen Arbeiten bereits einige internationale Auszeichnungen erhalten, unter anderem beim Humanity Award in China und beim Sony World Photography Award. Seine Arbeiten wurden in nationalen und internationalen Zeitungen, Zeitschriften einschließlich The Guardian, BBC, Daily Mail UK, Daily Star, etc. veröffentlich.


2014 Atkins CIWEM Umweltfotograf des Jahres 2014

2014 Sony World Photography Awards

2013 Humanity photo awards Performance Award, China

Jury Statement

Here, a young photographer shows us scenes of inhuman brutality that leave us gasping for breath and pictures of happy and contended children, all in the same, surreal setting. A life between joy and death. Wonderfully observed, without the eye of a voyeur, with honesty and extreme sensitivity. In his photojournalistic portfolio from the dead River Buriganga in Bangladesh, Fahim Riyad shows us the world of the homeless children who have made the river the centre point of their lives. Life and death coexist so closely that it takes the viewer’s breath away. An incredibly impressive reportage captured with a sensitive eye and feeling for the situation that our jury would hardly ever have expected from such a young, upcoming photographer. It is photojournalism and documentary photography at its best.