Samsul Helal Bangladesh

Cover Image - Samsul Helal

Samsul Helal is a visual artist whose work explores socio-cultural and political issues by presenting real situations in an often fictional space. Projects like “Open Stage” shine a spotlight on the individuals working as cleaners in Old Dhaka, while the work we featured, “Runaway Lovers,” portrays the brave couples who – having been stigmatized for their different faiths – fled their homes and families to start a new life together. Growing up in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Samsul was aware of the stigma surrounding inter-religious marriages—which across much of South Asia can be punishable by torture and even death. By presenting these couples in fragile and isolated spaces, he hopes to draw attention to the sacrifices they have made while normalizing the notion of love transcending religion.