Water Gypsies

For her photowork “Water Gypsies” – in Bangladesh they are called “Bede” – Maria M. Litwa, accompanied by the Berlin-based architect Christina Zeiske, visited two settlements near Dhaka located directly on the water. The pictures include portraits as well as the living space of the river nomads

“Seven percent of the surface area of Bangladesh is covered by water. The Bede, Muslim river nomads, have been living on this network of rivers and canals for more than one thousand years. The increasingly extreme climate, as well as the ever greater number of new dams and locks, means that travel on the rivers is now often too dangerous. The Bede, also known as “Water Gypsies”, are thus relocating their life bit by bit onto firm ground.” (Christina Zeiske)

Maria M. Litwa

Maria M. Litwa was born in Mühlheim/Ruhr in 1982. She lives and works in Cologne as a freelance photographer. Since 2013, she is represented by the photo agency laif.

Litwa studied communication design with an emphasis on photography at the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts and earned her diploma in 2011 with the multimedia reportage “Inside Geneva Camp” (Bangladesh), which has been exhibited internationally. Her works have been presented at large international photo festivals, such as the New York Photo Awards, The Browse in Berlin, the Darmstadt Photography Days, the Sarajevo Winter, the Wiesbaden Photo Days and the Delhi Photo Festival. The multimedia reportage “Inside Geneva Camp” was broadcasted on WDR and ARD EinsFestival and presented in the prestigious online magazine of the Inge Morath Foundation/Magnum Photos.

With her photo series, she observes cultural changes in personal structures. Intimate cinematic images depict highly nuanced and sensitively observed portraits in the context of the respective culture.