2015 Photo Contest, Contemporary Issues, 3rd prize

Waria: Being a Different Muslim


Fulvio Bugani

24 August, 2014

LGBT activist Shinta Ratri with other transgender women, known as warias, in a social meeting she organized.

About the photographer

Fulvio Bugani

Fulvio Bugani was born in Bologna, Italy, in 1974. Passionate about photography since childhood, he turned this passion into a profession. Bugani has been a professional photogra...

Background story

Shinta Ratri (center) sits among pupils at Pesantren Waria Al Fatah, a religious school for transgender people in Kotagede, Yogyakarta, on the southern coast of Java. Waria is a combination of wanita, the Indonesian word for ‘woman’, and pria, the word for ‘man’, and is often used to describe transgender women. Waria in Indonesia generally live in isolated communities and suffer a degree of marginalization and discrimination.

The pesantren is located in Shinta Ratri’s family home, and is the only school specifically for waria in the country. It offers students subjects such as Islamic and transgender studies, Koran reading, and lessons in prayer, and receives support from the University of Jepara, one of many educational establishments set up by a traditionalist Sunni Islam group that runs religious schools throughout the country.

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Focal length
14.0 mm

This image is collected in