Ulixes Pictures | Hidden Queens of Dhaka
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Hidden Queens of Dhaka


Homosexuality in Bangladesh is considered a crime.Sexual or emotional relationships between persons of the same sex are punishable by imprisonment, with penalties of up to life imprisonment. The attacks come one after another and often with the intention of killing. The April 26, 2016 two gay activists were massacred in Dhaka with machetes.


Since 2013 the Hijras have gained the recognition of certain basic rights such as education, health,
home and defined as a third sex. Nevertheless, on the social level they are daily victims of discrimination and abuse, both verbal and physical. This discriminatory situation compels hijras and homosexuals to live together, to have real hierarchies and internal rules to each group.


A “guru”, the most experienced of others in the community will welcome newcomers. The young new comers are forced to begging and prostitution. While some of them, according to an ancient Indian tradition of Ramayana, are called to “bless” infants through a ritual made of songs and dances, which are a good omen for the future of the child that they bless.


Raffaele Petralla

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Hidden Queens of Dhaka

Project Details

Bangladesh, 2015