Carlos Cazalis Photography


It is estimated that Dhaka holds some 40,000 beggars, despite government attempts to abolish the practice. Many of them are physically disabled and controlled by mafias, while some have been discovered to be living in four story houses.

Taqwa Mosque in the affluent Dhanmondi neighborhood is great center of attraction for beggars. These portraits were taken outside the mosque during Ramadan with a portable studio. We agreed to pay the beggars under the pretense that photographers should not pay for pictures. At first many resisted the idea. Soon after, a Dervish follower walked straight into the set, asked to be photographed and then many followed after. One man inclusively wanted to keep posing and keep being paid.

This body of work has few places to be showcased and might only be appreciated by the deprived and marginalized communities in Dhaka, where the value of their work and suffering, could be easily understood.

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