Feminist activist, blogger, writer, human rights defender, social anthropologist
‘Freedom, equality, peace, human rights are not myths, we just need to work hard for achieving these.’- Fahmi Ela
Fahmida Hanif Ela (pen name: Fahmi Ela) is feminist activist, writer, blogger, human rights defender and social anthropologist from Bangladesh. Throughout her career, she has focused on social justice, equality, and challenging the conservative patriarchal and religious structures which subjugate women and other minority groups.
Ela has published numerous articles on Women’s Chapter, a women’s rights blog and a progressive platform, challenging social taboos. Her work has been described as constructive and sincere, written both for the urban middle-class and the working-class women.
In 2017, Ela’s Bengali translation of an interview of Fidel Castro, examining his views on Marxist and Leninist theory was published in the book Progress by the Bangladesh Progressive Writers Association.
In addition to writing and blogging, Fahmi Ela worked for a range of national and international non-governmental research and humanitarian organisations including the UN. She has also been involved in a collaborative research project between the department of Anthropology at Jahangirnagar University and the Asia Foundation.
Fahmi Ela is also an outspoken activist and has been involved in several movements for political and social change. She has published articles and blog posts in different platforms on issues such as gender equality, refugee crisis, sex work, the murder of fellow journalists, and conservative politicians’ attitudes towards women.
As a result of her writing and activism, Fahmi Ela was the subject of threats, harassment, and stalking from religious and conservative fundamentalists. Although she continued to write, Ela was forced to relocate internally in Bangladesh several times and limited her movement due to safety concerns.
In 2020, Fahmi Ela arrived in Bø, Norway, where she became the ICORN resident for the period 2020-2022. Since then, Ela has continued her work as writer and activist.
In 2021, Ela published her first solo book Maiyafoyar Kohon (in Bengali language) or Leaf of Exile: Tales of the Runaway Rohingyas (in English). The book was published both in Bangladesh and in Sweden in same year. Leaf of Exile details Fahmi Ela's experiences of working in refugee camps in Bangladesh.
Ela continues pursuing her areas of interest. Since 2022, she has been studying a Master's in Cultural Studies at the University of South-Eastern Norway. She has been writing for the Norwegian newspaper Bø Blad as a freelance columnist for three years.
Email address: email@example.com.