Imran Akm, from Hoppers Crossing, studied mathematics at university while working as a newspaper reporter. A few years ago, he moved from Bangladesh to Australia, where he now works as a photographer. He also teaches photography and is studying a diploma in the art.
How did you come to live in Wyndham?
I came to Australia in 2008. I lived in the Sunshine-Footscray area before moving to Shepparton. I bought a house here in Hoppers Crossing and I came back.
I was looking for somewhere close to the city and also close to the country. I can drive 10 minutes from my home and be in the country. When I first moved here, I travelled around Wyndham and took photos – in Tarneit, Point Cook and Cocoroc. I thought, ‘I want to know the local area I live in’.
What do you like most about living in the area?
Wyndham is culturally diverse, that is the thing which attracts me a lot … there are lots of different cultures and traditions. It is good for young families as well. My dream is to organise a photo festival in Wyndham for everyone and international photographers, with photography, arts and everything.
Where is your favourite place to take photos in Wyndham?
Werribee South, because of the agriculture. My grandfather was a farmer, so it reminds me of him. It is a beautiful place. I take a lot of landscape images over there.
Basically, I am a documentary photographer, so I would like to do a documentary about Werribee South and the farmers there – my interests are the farming, the culture, the changes in farming because younger generations don’t want to take on the farms and the urbanisation.
What else do you take photos of?
Diversity of people, culture and religion. I’m working to photograph subjects which show all the religions around me, there are many known and unknown, not just Christianity and Muslim. My other interest is nationalism in multiculturalism. I did a wedding photography for some Macedonian people and they were raising their flag. There are in this country, but they keep up their own traditions.
Last year, at an Indian festival, they put up their country’s flag. The South Sudanese play sport, and they drape themselves in the Australian flag. Sometimes I see an Italian flag on a construction site. Myself and some friends, also for the past four years, have been making a documentary about the Australian contribution to the Bangladeshi Liberation War in 1971.