Photographer's Note

There are people in this part of the world, which has been classified as "Stateless". It is defined categorically as someone who is not recognized as a citizen of the country where he or she is residing, even though they have been geographically in country.

Along the eastern waters of Sabah, roams a sea tribe which has been making the sea its home for centuries, much like us making the land, our home. Until a decade or two ago, the Sea Bajaus had lived and died by the sea, always on the move from one anchorage to the next, going where the lepa's sail or the current takes them. The only time they set foot ashore is when they need to get or look for food, repair their lepas or to bury their dead. Everything else, is pretty much at sea, on board of their lepas. Everything including from making babies, to delivering and raising them.

There are a considerable numbers of Sea Bajaus and other seaborne races whom are stateless along the eastern seaboard of Sabah. With no citizenship within the country they are living in, they therefore have no certain rights and privileges. For instance, the naked child in this photo, is old enough to go to school but no school in this country, will or can, accept him. He will grow up and be, just like his forbears,uneducated, exposed and getting more vulnerable to the encroaching civilization and the tolls it brings.

Suddenly...when you put demographic and statistical terms to a group of people, they become lesser of the human race, almost an alien. And therefore freeing you, that much guilt, in your conscience to do anything for them. Suddenly...they are just numbers on some demographic papers.

arnabchat, idleisle, hugolef, jiekuan, rbeaty marcou esta nota como útil

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Additional Photos by Rabani HMA (rabani) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1133 W: 1 N: 3217] (9645)
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