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.’

Burma’s Political Prisoner’s Launch Photomonth Festival

Internationally renowned photography festival “Photomonth” celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and who better to take centre stage on the launch night other than Burma’s political prisoners. The official website is launching soon but you can read more about the festival here on ‘The Arts Hub’.

To have my name mentioned in the same breath as my hero Philip Jones Griffiths is enough for me, but it’s huge exposure and awareness for the issue of Burma and political prisoners that is most important as the launch party will generate good media attention.

Download your invitations here and come and show your support for Burma’s political prisoners.

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The Independent Sunday Review

Good old Independent – more press for the campaign. This time a short piece in the Sunday supplement magazine “The Review” and a write up about the exhibition at Amnesty UK plus U Zawana’s portrait – he was jailed for more than 16 years in Insein and Tharawaddy prisons.

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The Exhibition – Burma’s Political Prisoners at Amnesty International UK

The exhibition being held at Amnesty International UK headquarters in London is up and running and Monday evening was the Private View. It was actually really well attended by many close friends and colleagues and thanks must go to Amnesty International UK for hosting the event and their involvement now in the political prisoner campaign and special thanks must go to Daw Nita Yin Yin May and Khun Saing who both spoke about the issue of political prisoners and shared some of their experiences. Below is a short video news piece that DVB are broadcasting on their TV channel – you can also watch it here on Livestation.

I’d like to take this opportunity to also thank AAPP and DVB for their ongoing support and involvement in this project from the start right up to where we are now, also the many contacts and colleagues around the world and in particular in Mae sot and in Umpiem and Nupo refugee camps, also my right hand man woman, the Secretary General Miss J San herself who has carried cameras, interviewed, translated and filmed the action and stood in as a model on over 150 shoots as well as been the support system to this entire project.

Last, but of course not least, I wish to thank the former political prisoners themselves. Your courage and dignity knows no bounds and it is the greatest privilege to know you all and more importantly to be able to work with you all to bring about the release of your colleagues currently detained in the darkest hell on earth. We will not rest until they are free.

In total there are 21 images being exhibited… and as you would expect in keeping with Burmese tradition numerology plays a significant role in the selection of this amount of images. On 20th July 1989, Aung San Suu Kyi was detained under house arrest for the first time – almost exactly 21 years ago to the day from this exhibition. So, therefore, we have 21 portraits on display, marking one for each year since Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was first placed under house arrest.

This is just the start… I hope the Generals are up for the fight.

Video reproduced here with kind permission of Democratic Voice of Burma – © Copyright and not to be reproduced without permission

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‘Burma Today’ Exhibition Interview

Interview with Ko Myint Hlaing, Editor-in-Chief of Burma Today following on from the exhibition at Amnesty International UK in London.

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