Burma Selected for OSI Moving Walls 19

The Open Society Institute has selected my long term project for Burma’s political prisoners ‘Even Though I’m Free I Am Not‘ to be part of the prestigious Moving Walls exhibition programme. The exhibition opens in New York with a reception on November 30th and lasts for 9 months before moving to Washington DC for a further 9 months. With 400 applications submitted, being selected as one of seven photographers to be part of this programme is humbling to say the least. Also with my work being shown in the main reception area, it’s a massive honour for me and for everyone involved in this work over the past 3 years and is of course very exciting, but most importantly it gives the issue of Burma’s political prisoners another platform and hopefully valuable exposure –  there will be an exclusive first showing of a number of former political prisoners from inside Burma who we have been waiting for the right time to show to the world. This is that time.

CLICK HERE for full details on the OSI website

This is without doubt one of the biggest recognitions possible for this work. To me it’s like winning an ‘Oscar’ especially when I look at all the names of those whose work has been chosen for this exhibition programme since it’s inception in 1998 including the likes of Tim Hetherington, Marcus Bleasdale, Eugene Richards, Steve McCurry, Larry Towell, Lynsey Addario, Stefano de Luigi, Ami Vitale, Ed Kashi… the list is endless. It’s astonishing and I am totally humbled. From the OSI website:

‘Moving Walls represents the transitional condition of open societies and the promotion and maintenance of democratic values. It recognises the brave and difficult work that photographers undertake globally in their documentation of complex social and political issues. Their images provide the world with human rights evidence, put faces onto a conflict, document the struggles and defiance of marginalized people, reframe how issues are discussed publicly, and provide opportunities for reflection and discussion. Through Moving Walls, the Open Society Foundations honor this work while visually highlighting the mission of our foundation to staff and visitors.’

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PX3 People’s Choice Awards Double Win

More good news from this years PX3 Prix de la Photographie Awards with a double win in the People’s Choice Awards. So a big thank you to all the people out there who voted for the Lady and Tun Lin Kyaw, her former bodyguard.

RFA Interview and the PX3 Victory for Burma

Nice to chat with my friends from RFA again – especially having just been there last week in the DC headquarters and even more so to Ma Ingjin (wife of my friend Ko Thar Nyunt Oo who works at VOA). Thanks for the interview and article on my work.

Read the article here online on the Radio Free Asia website

Listen to the audio interview below – click play on the audioplayer

Mizzima Article on Meeting The Lady

Interview with Jim Andrews for an online interview on the Mizzima website about both the PX3 awards for my recent work on Burma and also about meeting The Lady.

You can read the full article online at the Mizzima website

Burma Wins Big at the PX3 Prix de la Photographie Awards

One of the biggest and most prestigious photography awards in Europe, the “PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris” have announced the winners in the annual event that celebrates a huge spectrum of photography from Photojournalism to Fine Art. With thousands of entrants from 85 countries including many of the world’s top photographers from agencies such as Panos Pictures and VII it is extremely pleasing and also humbling to win four awards – two golds, one silver and one bronze and an honourable mention – all for recent work in Burma and on the Thai-Burma border.

The winning images and photo-stories are as follows:

Aung San Suu Kyi: At Home With Burma’s Hope“:
Gold in Photojournalism (People)
Silver in Photojournalism (Political)
Honourable Mention in Portraiture

Burma’s democracy icon, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, photographed at home at 54 University Avenue

The Prison Without Bars“:
Gold in Photojournalism (Political)

From the refugee camps scattered along the border with Burma to the safe houses of Mae Sot to those who have been resettled to third countries, the daily lives of Burma’s former political prisoners are documented as they continue their fight in the struggle to bring democracy to Burma as well as their own personal fight for freedom.

Burma’s Defiance: Bo Kyi
Bronze in Photojournalism (Political)

“Burma’s Defiance” an ongoing long term project both inside Burma as well as in exile, documenting dissidents and human rights defenders still leading the fight against the ruling military regime in spite of threats and harassment from the authorities in the quest to bring freedom to their country.

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It is a huge honour to win these awards but most importantly it gives an audience and a platform to the subject matter and the issues concerned. This is the reason why as photographers so many of us take these pictures and follow these stories – personal satisfaction in the process and challenge of learning, helping and making a difference. Awards are due not to me but to the people in my pictures due to the struggles they have had to endure. My thanks, of course go to each and every one of them.

Aung San Suu Kyi: ‘The Dignity of Freedom’ VOGUE Magazine

London, Paris, New York, Tokyo. Not just the fashion capitals of the world that act as a byline to the famous high-couture houses, but also just a few of the cities we have visited in compiling this long term project for Burma’s political prisoners. And now Rangoon.
These images of the Lady at home in Rangoon were shot when we met earlier in 2011 and some have now been published in VOGUE Japan magazine. It’s been quite a ride getting this article completed and is a story in itself which can’t really be shared here but massive thanks to Mayumi Nakamura, editor at Vogue Japan, for bringing Aung San Suu Kyi and the issue of Burma to the readers of Vogue Magazine.

View the photo-story, a personal portrait of The Lady at home – CLICK HERE

You can buy your copy of VOGUE Japan Magazine CLICK HERE

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Waiting for Aunty and the Washington Post

On a day that actually started the day before for many of us, we are still no closer to really knowing if Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will be released from her latest detention of house arrest. Rumours, counter rumours and a frenzy of expectation and hope saw hundreds line the streets in anticipation of the impending release of Burma’s democracy icon but the wait goes on – tomorrow is another day.

U Win Htein arrives at the NLD headquarters in Rangoon

U WIn Tin arrives at University Avenue

Throughout the day NLD leaders and hundreds of supporters gathered at both University Avenue and outside the NLD headquarters in Rangoon quietly waiting despite SPDC sponsored thugs watching closely and MI frantically photographing (I’m glad I don’t have to edit their photos later tonight!). The world’s media had to rely on second-hand information for the most part with only a handful of foreign journalists masquerading as tourists in Rangoon. Melissa Bell has posted about this project on the Washington Post today as Ba Ba U Win Tin must now hopefully only have to wait one more day.

Whether she is finally freed tomorrow may depend on her acceptance of conditions imposed on her by the regime, restricting her movements and political activities. You can be sure she will demand full freedom and accept nothing less. There are still 2,202 to come after her. She will be the first to remind the world about that before anything else.

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The Talk of the Town: Burma’s Political Prisoners and Lady Gaga

Surely the most bizarre yet still most welcome acclaim so far… the top 10 things being talked about in the “Talk of The Town” list sees Burma’s Political Prisoners coming 3rd in the list just behind Lady Gaga who takes the runner up spot!

It’s a mad mad world for sure and on the same day that George Clooney adopts the pose to be photographed by one of my all time hero’s Anton Corbijn for his book “Inside The American”. The only difference is that Clooney’s pose is not for my work or for Burma… it’s just a portrait for the cover of a book, but I wonder why he thought of the idea to be photographed this way… could it be that I sent him my portfolio in August 2009 asking him to become involved in my project due to his great work for Burma through ‘Not On Our Watch‘? (that not a lot of people know about). Whatever George… I’ll take the credit… for today the world just doesn’t make sense as more than 15,000 people flee Burma in the expected fall out from the election and political prisoners stand alongside Lady Gaga as well as clearly leaving their influence on one of the greatest photographers of all time as well as one of Hollywoods biggest stars.

George Clooney and a nice idea for a pose…

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Gioia Magazine – Burma’s Political Prisoners in Italy

Another feature article, but this time in Italian magazine ‘Gioia’. Thanks to Tiziana Lelo who is the picture editor at the magazine and also to Stefano Rejec for the interview.

Former political prisoners featured in the article are: Top Left – Yee Yee Htun; Centre – Bo Kyi; Bottom Right – Kyu Kyu Win. The article also features portraits from the Amnesty International campaign using this work and includes the portrait of Waihnin Pwint Thon who has her fathers name (Mya Aye) written on the palm of her hand.

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No Caption Needed: Bearing Witness To The Burmese Prison

A feature in the photographer’s showcase on the highly esteemed blog “No Caption Needed” that features iconic photographs, public culture and liberal democracy. No Caption Needed is a book and a blog, each dedicated to discussion of the role that photojournalism and other visual practices play in a vital democratic society. No caption needed, but many are provided. . . .

Read the post in full on the No Caption Needed website.

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