In Bangladesh, we held our breath and prayed so that the overpopulated country would somehow be spared from the novel coronavirus. But, when the first three cases were reported and the number of infections started to rise, the government enforced a nationwide shutdown in March.
Ever since we found ourselves locked inside the four walls of our homes, we felt we were living in a cage. Even now, we are still terrified to leave our homes or allow others to visit.
For the first time, I stood in front of my camera. I struggled to focus my lens on my own story, embracing the power of photography as a motivation to survive. This new experience felt awkward and at times uncomfortable. My photographs show slivers of our daily life, hope, disappointments, expectations, loneliness, frustration and fears.
Our joys overshadowed the uncertainties we face. These months in isolation has also explored my relationship with my wife, Negar and our children, Hossain and Imran. I was able to observe my family closely, and I have discovered my weaknesses deeply.
My brothers Arman and Ataul and I live with our wives and children in the same building as a joint family; it is a great source of support. But, in my society, a man is taught not to speak about his worries, which at this time are many.
As each day passed, our fears grew as we listened to the reports of the rising numbers of those infected and the lives claimed. Our rooftop satellite dish caught images on our television showing so many other countries far more advanced and supposedly economically secure than Bangladesh digging graves. It was hard to imagine we were not watching a war.
A recent survey has found that 72.6 percent Bangladeshis are suffering from insomnia, Covid-19 has a significant detrimental effect on the mental health and psychological well-being of the people of Bangladesh.
The money my wife had hidden away for potential disasters is now almost gone, but we pool together our strengths. "Life in a cage" is intended to capture our resilience.