‘The Spellbinders’ is a photography project aimed to document the rapidly diminishing rural Circus of Bangladesh.
Traditional circus troupes were one of the major attractions in rural fairs and festivals, once. The vivid colors, jaw-dropping performances and hilarious acts of the clowns were so captivating that people waited throughout the year for the arrival of the carnival on the occasion of a specific fair or festivity. Thousands of audiences buzzed around the ring where trapeze artists, acrobats, singers and dancers performed in colorful attire. The tricks played by the artists were mind boggling, and so were the response of the audiences. Thousand pairs of addicted eyes jumped towards the ceiling of the tent and remained glued there till the artist fell on a safety net, or kept encircling the ring along with the unicycle performer.
Time is the biggest change-maker of all times, and it hasn’t spared this century old traditional entertainment venture of our country. Even a decade ago, a significant number of distinct circus troupes were performing across the country. In 2011, there is only 6 or 7 circus troupes available, others have embraced the change that forced them to extinction. Life might be easier for us in the present time, but for the Circus companies still surviving this is not the case. The fierce competition imposed by digital age and rapid urbanization stripped out all the colors from this captivating entertainment media.
The photographer was motivated by all these facts to start a project which aims to explore how the changing time is affecting the lives of the true ‘spellbinders’.
About the photographer
Mohammad Moniruzzaman is a Bangladeshi Photographer who has been practicing photography since 2007. His photography represents the humans around him, in the well and in woe. His subjective approach to photo documentation results in images which reflects his own perspective on life.
He has been making images out of variegated aspects of life in Bangladesh for the last five years. Currently he is staying in United States where he is trying to visually translate the subtle aspects of western lifestyle.