My work is based in Dhaka and Chittagong, two cities in Bangladesh where many rootless people live. I am always surprised by how these people manage to adapt to their new surroundings—many of them come to these cities to survive in the face of disaster in their villages.

Floating Heroes 2. Mir Hossain, 35. He supports his family by selling tea in a rickshaw van in Chittagong. It is not possible to rent a house with the money he earns by selling tea. If the van is stolen, he will be utterly ruined, so it is his house. This picture was taken at Kodomtoli in Chittagong. © Sowrav Das. 1st place, Series, LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2018.

In these photographs, I have tried to portray how the floating people pass the time at night. Using a slow shutter speed, their stories are elevated to new visions.

Waves of light pass by and surround these sleeping people. Sometimes, the flashes of light make circles of different sizes, and sometimes kinetic rays are set off by touching them like the stream of a fountain.

—Sowrav Das

Sowrav Das’s series “Floating Heroes” was the first prize winner in our Street Photography Awards 2018. Explore work by all 39 of the winners, finalists, and jurors’ picks.