Martial arts hold a vast and vital role in the world of sports and history. In Bangladesh, people practice different forms of martial arts, including the traditional forms known as “Bangladeshi martial arts.” Initially, during the British period, various Bangladeshi martial arts were originated for the need to protect villagers from Zamindars (landowners), who used to send lathial groups to collect taxes from villagers forcibly. Though martial arts had been practiced in Bangladesh since before the liberation war, the official journey began after the liberation by founding Bangladesh Judo and Karate Federation in 1972 and Bangladesh Martial Art Confederation in 1997. At present, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Boxing, Taekwondo, Karate, Wushu, Kickboxing are some of the common martial art forms in Bangladesh. These martial arts are practiced mainly for playing sports, learning self-defense, and military training in Bangladesh. Federations and private clubs often held several amateur and professional martial art tournaments. Many players have competed in different international events and achieved several medals also. Many martial art clubs provide basic self-defense training to girls to protect themselves against public harassment. However, despite the international records, many players and even some clubs often suffer from poor financial conditions for the lack of funding. Also, considered as an underground sport, they don’t get enough attention from the media either. “We live to Fight” attempts to explore the underlying cultures, lifestyles, history, individual stories, and underground fighting scenarios of different martial art communities in Bangladesh.

Award of Excellence

We Live To Fight

Zobayer Joati

Md. Zobayer Hossain Joati is a Freelance Photographer from Dhaka, Bangladesh. After finishing his Bachelor of Science (BSc.) degree in Engineering, his passion for photography led him to a professional diploma in Photography from Counter Foto. His works follow Documentary and Fine Art practices that concentrate on different socio-political issues, gender equality, cultural norms, and underrepresented communities.

[ CULTURAL PRACTICES ] A set of photographs that increases the understanding and appreciation of a cultural practice. It can be about festivals, religion, traditions, or contemporary cultural trends. Submissions do not have to adhere to documentary principles. Alternate processes and digital manipulations are allowed. Each submission consists of 5 to 20 images. Each participant is allowed to enter up to 2 submissions. The images must be taken in 2020 or 2021.

Judges for Cultural Practices
Anush Babajanyan
Liang-Pin Tsao
Nyimas Laula
Samuel He
Jean Chung