I have been afraid of dogs as far back as I can remember. Whenever I saw a dog on the street, I would walk the other way or wait until the dog went its own way. During my elementary school years, there were so many dogs in the school neighborhood and being extremely fearful of them, I used to wait around for someone, anyone, to come by so that I could cross the street full of dogs without being alone and frightened. I can’t explain it, but dogs just gave me the creeps, even though I’ve never been bitten.
My cynophobia continued well into 2012. However, after starting to attend Begart Photography Institute later that year, my feelings towards these canines took about turn. I found the deepest form of devotion from Moti, my instructor ImtiazAlamBeg’s dog and just fell in love with the beautiful creature. Never could I have imagined that a dog is capable of displaying more soul than most people. And now, I am glad to admit that I love dogs the most in the whole animal kingdom.
You would find dogs everywhere in Dhaka. Mostly strays on the streets. There is also a culture of having different breeds of foreign dogs as house pets, mostly to emphasize one’s social status and sense of style. On the other hand, Bangladesh, being a country of Muslim majority, has this culture of despising dogs – which is quite unfortunate and based mostly on religious myths than hard facts. Some of the more radical and ignorant populace, especially elderlies, would even boycott a relative or friend if they have dogs in the house. The whole scenario is full of contradictions. From my early childhood, I have seen many dogs abducted from the streets and killed off subsequently just for the crime of being a dog, perceived as harmful and a menace to the society.
I started this project after ImtiazBhaia’s dog Moti passed away. Moti taught me not only to shake off my unreasonable fear of dogs but also how to see the world differently.
Since the beginning of civilization, animals have been an integral part of human lives. Existence itself is a complicated phenomenon. It’s not always something that has to be visible or can be touched by hands. Existence is a feeling. My subconscious mind looked for the connection among this existence all around. My attention ran after the movement of lives. Lives of people, lives of not-so-people. The expression and magnitude of the existence of different selves are different, new and striking. Including us, the humans, and all the components in this society need to accept all these existences, for the balance of Mother Nature. It always amazed me when I used to find the interdependent relations among different creatures and selves. Here, one gives meaning to another. All of them have different functions to perform that support another. Sometimes, we notice something that never happened before or never became visible to our eyes but if someone can feel this co-existence by heart, one would not be surprised to see the newness; rather one will welcome this newness. I gradually learnt to explore this world of coexistence. The creatures, elements and phenomena in the society began treating me as one of their. They unleashed their mysterious relationship of co-existence in front of my lens.
In the modern mechanized cities, people may not depend on animals for livelihood or security as much, but, in every new or old society, people had to coexist with animals. Interaction with animals takes various forms, such as medical necessity to emotional support. These relations were always friendly. Living in close surrounding of animals teaches us humbleness, honesty and sensitivity. I can feel that I have become more compassionate person by getting close to the strays in the city.
About Md. Enamul Kabir
MdEnamulKabir is a Dhaka based freelance photographer. He is also part of collective OnEdge Street. He has completed his Advance and basic photography course from Begart Photography Institute, Dhaka.
His work has been published in several national and international magazines, newspapers including ISP Magazine, FLIP Magazine London, The Daily Star, and The Guardian. For him, photography is all about moment and story which becomes the witness. He loves his photos to be concise and cohesive and he tries to achieve the best result possible with fewer subjects. Apart from that Enamul loves to take photos of animals. His work is exhibited in Asian Art Biennale 2018, Festival Fotojatka-2018, Kolkata Photo Festival-2018,HIPA-2014,2017, Miami Street Photography Festival-2016,2017, StreetFoto San Francisco-2016,2017,2018, LSPF-2017,Brussels Street Photography Festival-2017, 2018, Summer in Your City-2017, Lens culture Street Photography Award-2017, Lens culture Exposure Award-2018, EyeEm Photography Award-2017, Sony World Photography Award-2018, Photography on a Post Card-2017, Thailand Photo Festival-2018,Behind the Portrait-Gulf Photo Plus, Dubai-2017, Italian Street Photo festival 2019, 212 photography Award-2019 and also published interview in many magazine and blogs including 121clicks and in-public.
He won several prestigious awards nationally and internationally including StreetFoto San Francisco 2018-Winner (Series), Brussels Street Photography Festival 2018-Runner up (Series), Sony World Photography Award 2018-Runner Up (National Award), Urban Photo Award-2018- Winner (Animal Category), Italian Street Photo festival 2019-Winner (Series), OOB-2018 -Winner (Series), Honorable mention-Summer in your City by Focus on the Story,USA, IPA One-shot Street Photo Award 2019 (Honorable mention-Life Style, Moment).
You can find Md. Enamul Kabir on the Web :
All the pictures in this post are copyrighted Md. Enamul Kabir. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.
Superb series. Congratulations!