Forbidden Love by Mohammad Rakibul Hasan

This is Mohammad Rakibul Hasan’s contribution to GRIP’s Imaging Inequality project. 

In Bangladesh, having been abandoned by family and friends, transgender people are subject to extensive daily abuse. The existing and continuously growing transphobia and homophobia in society are obstacles in the trajectory of enlightenment for an individual. The featured individuals of the LGBTQ+ community share a wide variety of such life narratives.

As a photo story, “The Forbidden Love” seeks to elevate and celebrate love, portraying their desire to live with and within love. The vividness in their expressions, their enchanting bonding with partners, and the simplistic honesty made these photographs possible, catalyzing the compartmentalization of the existing stereotypes. Perhaps this project is a leap to explore the infinite and beautiful gradient of the representation of love; it attempts to redefine love beyond the gender identities and stigmas through the true reflection of their personas. The photographs and interviews in “The Forbidden Love” have been used as photographic tableaux.

The Forbidden Love” is a collaborative photo project with the LGBTQR+ community in Bangladesh, using interviews with the LGBTQR+ community in Bangladesh as source material to recreate their memories into photographic montages. They have been fighting for their fundamental rights of loving with chosen ones and the rights to live with equal rights.


Mohammad Rakibul Hasan is a Dhaka, Bangladesh-based documentary

 photographer, filmmaker, and visual artist. His work explores human rights, social development, politics, the environment, and spirituality. Hasan has won hundreds of photographic competitions worldwide, including the Lucie Award, Human Rights Press Award, and Allard Prize. His photography projects exhibited in Photo Basel, Shanghai Photo Festival, NordArt Festival, Berlin Photo Festival, Belgrade Photo Month Festival, and many other galleries worldwide.


He is a consultant photographer and filmmaker for the WHO, UN Women, Oxfam, Red Cross, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, ActionAid, WaterAid, and many other international non-profit organizations. The °CLAIR Galerie, Switzerland, represents his artworks. He is a Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Fellow and was a TEDx speaker.