Waria: Being a Different Muslim
Contemporary Issues, third prize singles
August 24, 2014
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.
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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 photographer for more than 15 years, working with various magazines, associations and NGOs and organizing personal exhibitions. After a close collaboration with major photo studios in Bologna started in 1995, he founded his own studio in 1999. He actively collaborates with Amnesty International and MSF.
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