Changemaker: Shariqa Habib
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; a modern equatorial city that is exploding in all directions as more and more people make it their home. This city of millions rests upon a multi-faceted society made up by faces from every part of the world. Diversity is celebrated, but peeling away these layers can reveal an unsettling truth about people who are on the edge of being invisible.
Fleeing from their native Myanmar, a large population of Burmese refugees has been established in Malaysia. They ran for their lives, but are at times regarded as economic migrants who are in Malaysia illegally. They are often subject of harassment and face daily the threat of deportation.
All of this, unfortunately, happens to a voiceless minority of people within a large population oblivious to the harsh realities faced by refugees. A low degree of awareness have kept the burgeoning situation silent; we must solve exactly that for a change to happen.
“See the World Through Our Eyes” is a CAP that aims to provide a voice to the very future of the refugee community: the children. These children will be provided cameras for a period of time to take pictures and document anything from whatever inspires their curiosity, to the mundane sights of daily life. The importance is that these images capture a side of life unseen by most Malaysians. With these unique pictures in hand, they will be formatted and prepared for exhibitions to invoke the imagination, curiosity and sympathy of everyday Malaysians. The events that flank this project, such as fundraisers and forums, aim to send a wave of awareness among Malaysians to wake up to this reality and to realise that such an injustice occurs on their own soil. If a picture can speak a thousand words, it is hoped that this exhibition will call out to society to make a difference.