Author Archives: Murtada Bulbul

About Murtada Bulbul

Documentary photographer based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. His subjects are people who are the victims of social, economic, and political discrimination. His intention is to emphasize their conditions in order to win the empathy of society at large, as well as to establish their rights. His works include “Swineherd: The Salaried Gypsy with a Domestic Mind,” the photo sequence excerpted here, which won second place in the 2010 Alexia Foundation Student Awards. Another notable work is “Frankenstein of Buriganga,” a photo story on the current state of Dhaka’s River Buriganga.


In the traditional Indian caste system, the Dalit caste is considered lowest, untouchable, having the fewest advantages. Socially its members have been considered profane by upper castes. Approximately 4.5 million Dalit live in Bangladesh. 65 percent are illiterate and very poor. They still make their living within their hereditary professions, of which swineherding is one. In Bangladesh, swineherds lead an unusual, gypsy-like existence. Their families live in a particular place while the men go out with their herds to various places for feeding, constantly moving, living in tents of bamboo, plastic, and paper. They usually stay three to four days in a given place, sometimes up to a week, depending on the availability of food for their pigs.