Call Me Heena by Shahria Sharmin

Hijra is a South Asian term with no exact match in the English language. Hijras are people designated male or intersex at birth who adopt a feminine gender identity. Often mislabeled as hermaphrodites, eunuchs, or transsexuals in literature, Hijras can be considered to fall under the umbrella term transgender, but many prefer the term third gender.

“I feel like a mermaid. My body tells me I am a man and my soul tells me I am a woman”.

Heena (age 51)

Hijra is a South Asian term with no exact match in the English language. Hijras are people designated male or intersex at birth who adopt a feminine gender identity. Often mislabeled as hermaphrodites, eunuchs, or transsexuals in literature, Hijras can be considered to fall under the umbrella term transgender, but many prefer the term third gender.

Traditionally, Hijras held semi sacred status and were hired to sing, dance, and bless newly married couples or newborns at household parties. Earnings were pooled through the guru system, in which Hijras declare allegiance to a guru and submit to group rules, in exchange for financial and social security. 

Growing up in Bangladesh, I was influenced by predominant prejudices and stereotypes about Hijras. Then, I met Heena, who opened her life to me and helped me get to know the other members of her community as the mothers, daughters, friends, and lovers that they are. 

I have started this on going project in the beginning of July 2012. Over the years I’ve noticed that mothers are generally more flexible with their acceptance than fathers. Fathers prefer their sons to be a dominant masculine figure. I believe this communication gap to be one of the major cause for the Hijra’s abundance form their family.

Call Me Heena is my attempt to show the beauty in Hijra lives, despite the challenges and discrimination they face. The photographs are take by wooden instant camera where sitters are mother, father, daughter, son, brother, sister, guru or lover.

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

About Shahria Sharmin

Shahria Sharmin is a freelance photographer based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. After doing her Masters in Public Administration from the University of Dhaka, Shahria pursued her further study at Pathshala South Asian Media Academy in Bangladesh where she became fascinated with the social history of photography and the evolution of identity, sexuality and gender in relationship to material culture. ‘Call me Heena’ Shahria’s ongoing project, takes her interest in photography’s connection with identity to explore and express the diversity of human experience. In 2014, she was named the second place winner of the Alexia Foundation student grant for her project, ‘Call me Heena’. The same work has been selected in Open Society Foundation, Moving Walls 23 group exhibition in 2015. Other awards and honors have included being recognized by International Photographer of the Year IPOTY and Magnum Photography Award 2017. ‘Call me Heena’ was Shortlisted of the first ever Women Photograph grant 2017 in conjunction with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. [Official Website]

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena | Shahria Sharmin

More Stories

Terra Mater – Ode to My Family  by Marco Castelli

Terra Mater – Ode to My Family by Marco Castelli

Words are not inherently suitable to embrace any even blurred concept of time, and beside all speech being made nowadays around the sense of family, its true nature belongs to the undetectable trace we leave through centuries, and to our relationship with time itself.
The magical hidden world by Georgi Georgiev

The magical hidden world by Georgi Georgiev

The magical hidden world project was selected and published in our print edition 23. These photos are one of my personal best from the past few years. Most of them are from one place where I spend every spare moment to take photos.
Sleepless by Rebecca Sexton Larson

Sleepless by Rebecca Sexton Larson

Growing up I always had an affinity with the night. It was when I did my most productive work, alone in my bedroom free from noise and distractions. I would find comfort in the subdued light and quiet stillness, losing a sense of time and being absorbed in the moment of creating art.

Portrait Photography Awards

We invite you to participate in the first edition
of the Portrait Photography Awards. We are looking
for the best portrait for this year, 2023.

Our call is open to any artistic interpretation of portrait photography.

DEADLINE | FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2023

PHOTO BY © JOSE GIRL
Pride and prejudice by Renata Dutrée

Pride and prejudice by Renata Dutrée

Pride and prejudice project was selected and published in our print edition 23. This ongoing series of studio portraits of young men is intended to challenge the viewer with social constructs that are centered around masculinity and femininity. Gender bias, gender roles and stereotypes can affect everyone negatively.
Gender identity; Lexi by Timothi Jane Graham

Gender identity; Lexi by Timothi Jane Graham

I first met Lexi at the beginning of her medical gender affirmation journey in December 2020. At 58 years old, she had identified and lived as a woman for decades behind closed doors. She was born and raised in Ecuador where the LGBTQ community faces intense discrimination which often ends in violence.
Metaversic world by Byoung Ho Rhee

Metaversic world by Byoung Ho Rhee

With the innovation of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence in the 21st century, the world of metaverse is being witnessed around our lives such as games and movies. The age of mixing virtual with reality. In the metaverse world, the cyberspace where virtual and reality are harmonized is called mixed reality MR.

Featured Stories

Midwest Memoir by Michael Knapstein

Midwest Memoir by Michael Knapstein

There is a certain magic to the American Midwest. Honest. Modest. Understated. Sometimes unappreciated. Often overlooked. I created Midwest Memoir as a way to help others see the American Midwest in a whole new light.
Nenka Ukraine by Dina Oganova

Nenka Ukraine by Dina Oganova

It was 2009 when i went first time in Kiev (capital) of Ukraine and was totally in love with this amazing country and lovely people.I think Ukrainians and Georgians has a lot of common. 2014 was the hardest and sadness year for this beautiful country
Timeless Havana by Florence Gallez

Timeless Havana by Florence Gallez

I photographed the Cuba images as a student during world-renowned photojournalist Peter Turnley’s 2013 Havana, Cuba workshop, which then became part of my first photography book Flow and Reflections.
Olympe Tits : Visual Artist

Olympe Tits : Visual Artist

Olympe Tits is a self-taught photographer. Born in Marseille, 3rd April 1992, she has now settled in Antwerp, Belgium. She combines this with a life as a contemporary dancer, teaching at the Royal Ballet school of Antwerp and choreographing for dance-theatre pieces.
Favelas: the rhythm of change by Albertina d’Urso

Favelas: the rhythm of change by Albertina d’Urso

The favelas of Rio de Janeiro are mostly known for violence and drug trafficking. But, also if those problems still exist, life for most of the inhabitants has nothing to do with that. Favelas are becoming safer and better organized.
Andrea Rossato ; Joy for all ages …

Andrea Rossato ; Joy for all ages …

Summer holidays at sea is a time of joy and fun for all ages. Sometimes the seniors become kids again, other times parents play jokes on children. The social rules are, thus, often broken, creating in this way brand new relationships.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/bannerpr.jpg

We invite you to participate in the first edition of the Portrait Photography Awards. Our call is open to any artistic interpretation of portrait photography.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/mono2022.jpg

The best 100 images along with the winning images published in the yearly book “Monochromatic – Best Photographers of 2022”

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/banner24.jpg

Call For Entries #24 | After 23 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

Yamal by Marco Marcone

Yamal by Marco Marcone

Yamal, in the language of the indigenous Nenets who inhabit this land, means "the end of the world"; It is a remote, windswept place, characterized by permafrost, by lakes and rivers and is the land of reindeer breeders for over a thousand years.
Havana by David Saxe

Havana by David Saxe

Havana is a city suspended in time, where life slowly drifts to a steady salsa beat. People are civil and friendly—they will argue baseball in the park, walk along the Malecon, make love, marry, and raise families
Ethiopia – Change in the Valley by Matilda Temperley

Ethiopia – Change in the Valley by Matilda Temperley

The fate of the Omo Valley was sealed in 2006 when, upstream of the valley’s arterial Omo river, the Ethiopian government began constructing the ‘Pride of Ethiopia’
Kid Jockeys by Alain Schroeder

Kid Jockeys by Alain Schroeder

Once a game between neighbors to celebrate a good harvest, horse racing was transformed into a spectator sport by the Dutch in the 20th century to entertain officials and nobility.
Francisco Arteaga, Street photographer

Francisco Arteaga, Street photographer

Streets are the places where all kind of souls surrounds us. Strangers become part of you once you’ve clicked, they let you know them, get into them and see what lies behind them. I look for body language, facial characteristics, particular expressions, trying to search the story that defines them.
Street Stories by Castro Frank

Street Stories by Castro Frank

Contemporary Street Photographer, Castro Frank was born on August 28th, 1983. This Los Angeles native’s style of photography fuses together a journalistic approach with an artistic eye to create imagery.

Trending Stories

Native by Justine Tjallinks

Native by Justine Tjallinks

The ever evolving and growing reach of media erases all borders and makes it possible to stay in tune with global occurrences.
Skype Interview with David Godichaud

Skype Interview with David Godichaud

David Godichaud was born in Fontainebleau (France) in 1973. He started a carreer of photographer ten years ago, after graduating in Science Research first and from the photojournalism program of the International Center of Photography in New York next.
Life after death by Edgaras Vaicikevicius

Life after death by Edgaras Vaicikevicius

After the death of a person remains only what he created during his lifetime. Trees also are born and die. However, only people can extend the natural life of the tree. When the arm of creator touches the tree, the tree is reviving.
Trains and photography; The Iron Way by Ahmed Ashraf

Trains and photography; The Iron Way by Ahmed Ashraf

Two years ago, I took a ride using the train. After experiencing such world, all I wanted to reach is the human inside the train, not the one taking the train every now and again. My aim was the one who permanently and constantly using it.
Documentary photography; Baro Maa by Joydeep Mukherjee

Documentary photography; Baro Maa by Joydeep Mukherjee

I am old and grey. I am alone inside these four walls and I can only talk to my loneliness. My loneliness is killing me inside.I am almost imperceptible to those people, who are happy in their busy own world. Sometimes, I feel like a critter, for whom these humans had a stiff-arm.
Interview with Andrea Torrei; Published in our print edition #07

Interview with Andrea Torrei; Published in our print edition #07

Dodho Magazine is simply amazing. I can say it happened by mere happenstance when during my first visit to Wilson I met a woman from Senegal who settled down there after many years of living in Italy.
The Journey of Hope; Forgotten in Lampedusa by Salvatore Esposito

The Journey of Hope; Forgotten in Lampedusa by Salvatore Esposito

Lampedusa is the outpost for the Europe. Closer to Africa than to mainland Europe, but to get here is that all migrants attempting what is called "The Journey of Hope."
Photo Shoot; Black Swan by Zuzu Valla

Photo Shoot; Black Swan by Zuzu Valla

I met Olivia on stage, at a performance of anything goes, where she was playing a lead role. I was the Designer & Head Make-up & Hair Artist for Vintage Styling during the show.

Other Stories

stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Get in Touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.