The Bangladeshi photographer GMB Akash, a 'World Press Photo Award’ winner is currently residing in Hamburg, Germany on a Hamburg Foundation/GEO Magazine scholarship for a year.
Akash was shocked to find homeless people in Germany and asked "why are there homeless in one of the richest countries of the world?" Then he started documenting what he saw. In his own account:
Once, when I took a picture of a homeless in Hamburg, I was asked by the police why I was photographing the homeless. They wanted to know why I show the bad sides of Germany. This was like a déjà-vu for me.You can watch the series of photos on homeless people in Germany from his gallery:
I don’t know a lot about the circumstances of poverty and homelessness in Germany. But whatever stands behind it: The begging child I met with his father affected me a lot. I believe that here, with a lot of money in the background, a job, care and support could be given to many people. Someone who sells a paper like Hinz & Kunzt, for example, doesn’t have to beg. Someone who has to beg cannot build up self-confidence and has no perspective for the future.For this image in particular and his series of photographs homosexual and prostitutes in Narayanganj brothels he received death threat from Fundamentalists back in Bangladesh.
In my homeland, friends, relatives, and other photographers often asked me: “Why do you only show the bad sides of Bangladesh? “But this was never my intention. Having a son that is delinquent, you have to be hard and strict towards him to keep him from the bad. You do this because you love him. This is the same I feel for Bangladesh: I love my country and I show things that should be change(d) positively.One of his photos has recently won the prestigious Gordon Parks Photography Competition 2007.
(All photos copyright GMB Akash)