A J Ghani: The Cosplayers of Bangladesh

 
Ghani works especially hard to create an aura surrounding the characters, and this image of the Joker counts as one of his favourites. Photograph/A J Ghani

Ghani works especially hard to create an aura surrounding the characters, and this image of the Joker counts as one of his favourites. Photograph/A J Ghani

This story was originally published in October 2014.

“The moment I saw people in their costumes, I just knew I had to photograph them!”, A J Ghani

“The moment I saw people in their costumes, I just knew I had to photograph them!”, A J Ghani

A J Ghani was intrigued when he heard about the Comic Con event in Dhaka. Not a very big comic fan himself, he was drawn to the people who loyally dress up as their favourite characters. All his images are from a single day, using mostly available light and at times, a flash.

Bangladesh is home to a large comic fan base but it was only last year that the country saw an official comic fan convention. The event revealed a thriving community of Cosplayers, who managed to fervently dress up as their favourite characters, even though costumes were not readily available. So they end up using whatever is available locally, often stitching their costumes themselves. Also, getting the makeup and hair just perfect is a major part of the entire look.

Ghani mentions, “Before I photograph the cosplayers, I ask them why they have chosen that particular character. Later I go about setting the mood of the photograph. Whether the cosplay spells a form of escapism of this generation or a desperate need for self-expression, what can be said without doubt is that more people are being drawn to this culture and seemingly nothing can curb their enthusiasm.”

Tags: A J Ghani, Bangladesh, Cosplayers of Bangladesh, portraits