About allisonjoyce

Allison Joyce is an award winning photojournalist currently working out of New York City. As a regular contributer to Reuters and Getty, her work has appeared in publications worldwide, including the New York Times, National Geographic, Mother Jones, Virginia Quarterly Review, TIME, Paris Match and Newsweek

Gang rape during the Muzaffarnagar Riots in India

Rape Survivors of the Muzaffarnagar Religious Clash Riots Rape Survivors of the Muzaffarnagar Religious Clash Riots Samia, 25, (whose name has been changed to protect her identity) is seven-months pregnant as she sits for a photo January 22, 2014 in the Shamli District of Uttar Pradesh, India. According to her, on September 8, 2013, during the riot, three of her neighbors who she had known for eight years barged into her home, locked the door, and took turns raping her. When she went to the police to file a case they asked her questions, such as ‘What were you wearing?’ and ‘Where did you keep your hands while they were raping you?’ They took her phone and examined her calls from 30 days up until the attack and questioned why she called each person and what her relation was to them. Riots between Muslims and Jat Hindus broke out at the end of August and lasted until the beginning of September, 2013. More than 55 people were killed, hundreds were injured, at least six women were reportedly gang raped, and almost 50,000 people fled to relief camps in the immediate aftermath. The cold winter has led to the death of over 34 children in the relief camps.

Rape Survivors of the Muzaffarnagar Religious Clash Riots Rape Survivors of the Muzaffarnagar Religious Clash Riots  Alishba, 25, (whose name has been changed to protect her identity) covers her face while sitting for a photo, January 22, 2014 in the Shamli District of Uttar Pradesh, India. According to her, she was gang raped by two men during the riots on September 8, 2013. Four of her neighbors that she had known for 10 years broke down the door of her home, two guarded the door while the other two raped her. They released her when her mother-in-law heard the commotion and came down the stairs shouting that the police were on their way. Her and her husband filed a case with the police, but so far no arrests have been made. The police have offered her money to drop the case, and her rapists have threatened her family. Riots between Muslims and Jat Hindus broke out at the end of August and lasted until the beginning of September, 2013. More than 55 people were killed, hundreds were injured, at least six women were reportedly gang raped, and almost 50,000 people fled to relief camps in the immediate aftermath. The cold winter has led to the death of over 34 children in the relief camps.

Rape Survivors of the Muzaffarnagar Religious Clash Riots Rape Survivors of the Muzaffarnagar Religious Clash Riots  Safa, 30, (whose name has been changed to protect her identity) covers her face with her shawl while she sits for a photo January 22, 2014 in the Shamli District of Uttar Pradesh, India. According to her, on September 8, 2013, during a riot while her husband was away at work, four of her neighbors broke into her home and took turns raping her for an hour and a half. They finally left when they heard people shouting outside that the police were on their way. After the rape she was sick with an infection for one month. She filed a report with the police, but no arrests have been made, and her rapists have been threatening her and her family to drop the case. Riots between Muslims and Jat Hindus broke out at the end of August and lasted until the beginning of September, 2013. More than 55 people were killed, hundreds were injured, at least six women were reportedly gang raped, and almost 50,000 people fled to relief camps in the immediate aftermath. The cold winter has led to the death of over 34 children in the relief camps.

Rape Survivors of the Muzaffarnagar Religious Clash Riots Rape Survivors of the Muzaffarnagar Religious Clash RiotsAisha, 45, (whose name has been changed to protect her identity) covers her face while she sits for a photo January 22, 2014 in the Shamli District of Uttar Pradesh, India. According to her, on September 8, 2013, she heard shouts outside her door after the riots started and sent her kids out to flee from the home. Before she could leave, five men that she used to work for in the sugarcane fields grabbed her and took her into another home. They each took turns raping her until she passed out. It took her 10 days to recover from her injuries. She filed a case with the police and they have been offering her money to drop the case. The men who raped her are still walking free, when she goes to the local market they follow her and threaten her. Local muslims have given her a place to live since the attacks. ‘Until the case is settled I am living on Allah’s grace’ she says. Riots between Muslims and Jat Hindus broke out at the end of August and lasted until the beginning of September, 2013. More than 55 people were killed, hundreds were injured, at least six women were reportedly gang raped, and almost 50,000 people fled to relief camps in the immediate aftermath. The cold winter has led to the death of over 34 children in the relief camps.

Shamli relief camps

Riots between Muslims and Jat Hindus broke out at the end of August and lasted until the beginning of September, 2013. More than 55 people were killed, hundreds were injured, at least 6 women were gang raped, and almost 50,000 people fled to relief camps in the immediate aftermath. The cold winter has led to the death of over 34 children in the relief camps.Death Toll Rises In Uttar Pradesh Refugee Camps Following Religious Clashes Rain falls over the Jhola relief camp in the Shamli district of Uttar Pradesh, India.

Death Toll Rises In Uttar Pradesh Refugee Camps Following Religious Clashes Goulista, who says she is 18 years old, holds her daughter Raymon, who is 3 days old in the Jhola relief camp.

Death Toll Rises In Uttar Pradesh Refugee Camps Following Religious Clashes 40 year old Ruksana looks out of the tent that she shares with her husband and three children in the Malakpur relief camp.

Death Toll Rises In Uttar Pradesh Refugee Camps Following Religious Clashes The body of 7 month old Shubnam is prepared before burial in the Malakpur relief camp January 23, 2014 in the Shamli District of Uttar Pradesh, India. They had been living in the camp for 5 month since the riots came to their village of Lawk Bawdi. Shubnam was sick and on medicine for a week with pneumonia but died in the early morning of January 23, 2014.

Death Toll Rises In Uttar Pradesh Refugee Camps Following Religious Clashes  Children attend a makeshift Islamic school in the Barnavi relief camp.

Death Toll Rises In Uttar Pradesh Refugee Camps Following Religious Clashes  Saina, 10, holds her 2 year old brother, Mouskan in the Bibipurhaty relief camp.

Death Toll Rises In Uttar Pradesh Refugee Camps Following Religious Clashes A boy holds an umbrella over his mother while she cooks during a rainstorm in the Jhola relief camp.

Death Toll Rises In Uttar Pradesh Refugee Camps Following Religious Clashes A child sits outside his tent while his mother cooks in the Malakpur relief camp

Ramu celebrates Probarona Purnima one year after attacks

The Probarona Purnima festival in Bangladesh celebrates the conclusion of the three-month long seclusion of the monks inside their monasteries for self-edification. Last year, on September 29th 2012 a muslim mob attacked and destroyed temples and homes of Buddhists after an anonymous person posted a photograph of a desecrated Quran on a local Buddhist boy’s facebook wall. The community did not participate in Probarona Purnima last year in protest of the attacks.

ablog169 ablog170 ablog171 13 year old Mong Sanu, who is training to become a monk, is seen inside his monastary before the Probarona Purnima festival in Ramu, Bangladesh.

ablog172 A desecrated idol that was damaged during last years attack lays in disrepair on the day of Probarona Purnima on October 19, 2013 in Ramu, Bangladesh.

ablog173 Bangladeshi Buddhists light a large paper balloon into the sky during Probarona Purnima

ablog174 Bangladeshi Buddhists light a large paper balloon into the sky during Probarona Purnima

ablog175 Bangladeshi Buddhists cheer after lighting a large paper balloon into the sky during Probarona Purnima

ablog176 Bangladeshi Buddhists celebrate their annual boat festival during Probarona Purnima

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Surf club in Cox’s Bazar

In October I had a blast hanging out with the Cox’s Bazar Lifesaving Surfing Club. They’re a great group of guys and gal who surf together and teach other residents and underprivileged kids to surf and save lives.

ablog181 Shahadat Hosen poses for a photograph in his home on October 23, 2013 in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Cox’s Bazar is the world’s longest natural sandy sea beach. The Cox’s Bazar Lifesaving Surfing Club, founded in 2010 by Shahadat Hosen, is comprised of 8 good friends who hang out and surf together. They give surfing and swimming lessons to foreigners and local residents, including underpriviliged children. Once a year they train local residents and the Bangladeshi Coast Guard on lifeguarding and CPR. ‘We do it because we see potential to give back to the community’ says Hosen.

ablog182 Shahadat Hosen high fives a friend while eating dinner with member of the Cox’s Bazar Lifesaving Surfing Club in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

ablog183 ablog184 Shahadat Hosen, 12 year old Yonus Ali, and Kamrul Hasan sit on the beach before surfing in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

ablog185 12 year old Yonus Ali walks into the water on October 22, 2013 in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. 12 year old Yonus Ali was taken in by the surf club’s founder’s family, Shahadat Hosen, because his mother is no longer able to take care of him. He met the surfers after he dropped out of school and started hanging out at the beach. They saw his talent and excitment for surfing and took him in as part of their group.

ablog186 ablog187 Nassima Akter (L) , Kamal Alamin, and 12 year old Yonus Ali (R) are seen on the beach after surfing on October 22, 2013 in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. When Nassima was 13 years old she was homeless, sleeping on the beach at night. She saw people surfind in the water and quickly joined them, learning the sport very quickly. As she got older, locals in the conservative community gave her and her friends a hard time, saying that it was inappropriate and against the muslim religion for women to surf. She is recently seperated from her husband, who was beating her during their constant arguments over her surfing. 12 year old Yonus Ali was taken in by the surf club’s founder’s family, Shahadat Hosen, because his mother is no longer able to take care of him. He met the surfers after he dropped out of school and started hanging out at the beach. They saw his talent and excitment for surfing and took him in as part of their group.

ablog188 Members of the The Cox’s Bazar Lifesaving Surfing Club play pool in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

ablog189Kamrul Hasan repairs his surfboard in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

Hazaribagh, Dhaka

In November I spent two days shooting in the 5th most polluted place on earth, Hazaribagh, Dhaka. There are no words to adequately describe the smell of the place. Dead animal parts and fat and skin everywhere, being boiled into soap and other things.. I don’t think the smell will ever come out of my shoes.

Hazaribagh was just listed in a report by Green Cross Switzerland and Blacksmith Institute as the 5th most polluted place on earth. It houses 95% of Bangladesh’s leather tanneries, and every day they dump 22,000 cubic liters of toxic waste, including the cancer-causing hexavalent chromium, into the capital city’s main river and key water supply, the Burgiganga. Most of the laborers work with the hazardous chemicals without any safety precautions, and there have been reports of horrific workplace accidents in the factories. Residents of the neighborhood slums are exposed to the extreme air, water and soil pollution. The tanneries export millions of dollars of leather good around the world, including the US and Europe.

blog145 blog146blog147Hazaribagh's Tanneries Contribute To Its Status As One Of World's Most Polluted Places blog148 blog149 blog150 blog151 blog152

Bangladesh’s 200 year old “lost wax casting”

The owner of the Dhamrai Metal Crafts, Sukanta Banik, creates bronze sculptures in the art of ‘lost wax casting.’ The business has been in his family for 200 years. The pieces are first molded in wax, then encased in clay, then baked in the oven, after which metal is poured into the mold. One piece can take up to 10 months to make. The business is suffering because most of these items he creates can now be mass produced in plastic, and as a Hindu artist working in Islamic Bangladesh, the ‘depiction of all humans and animals are discouraged by the majority religion.’ Recently it took a year and a half to send an order overseas, when Bangladeshi customs held his work in hopes for a bribe. blog125 blog126 blog127 blog128 blog129 blog130Sukanta Banik poses with his mother, Tara Rani Banik, under portraits of their family, who also practiced their metal craft trade, at Dhamrai Metal Crafts.

Growing up in the Bangladesh Traveling Circus

For weeks I was trying to find out where a circus was taking place here in Bangladesh. Finally I heard of one happening just a few hours north of Dhaka and was able to spend two days working there, but they left town two weeks early because of low attendance. A few months later I got word one was happening in Jamsha. We headed out early in the morning from Dhaka, and what was only about 100 miles took us 5 hours. One popped tire and a boat ride later, because of course the bridge wasn’t finished being built yet, we arrived to a run down tent but lively group of circus performers. They all traveled together throughout the year and lived in tin sheds constructed behind the circus tent. Both parents and young children are all part of the act.

Generations of low income families are born into circuses with rarely the hope of ever working in different profession or escaping the harsh realities of the circus. The children, often very young, are trained to be full working members usually without the opportunity for an education. As modernization slowly takes over landscape of Bangladesh, the circus is a dying art form and is moving further and further away from mainstream entertainment.

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India’s Golden Chance

In November I had the chance to go to Bihar, India for the first time for the Virginia Quarterly Review. Even better, it was for a positive gender story. The story, by Meera Subramanian, is about Pinki Kumari and Binod Singh who work for Pathfinders, who travel to rural villages around Bihar, the poorest state in India, and educate young girls and boys about sexual health, delaying marriage, reproductive rights and options, and delaying and reducing the number of children they have. Refreshing to see positive changes being made in Indian society. Check out the story here.
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