Burma is one of the most compelling, haunting, and complex counties I have ever visited. The prolonged forced exile and recent release of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi is thrilling. If you are unfamiliar with the situation, I suggest renting the DVD, Beyond Rangoon. You will have an historical insight into what the country is facing today. I watched it before I visited Myanmar (former name) in 1999 and the image of Aung San Suu Kyi facing the guns is the most dramatic and gripping demonstration of the power of peaceful protests. She is truly fearless and an inspiration to us all. A must see.
photographing in Rangoon in 1999
While visiting I took many photographs. The only problem is that all are in negative form and I don't have the time to scan and reprint. My head keeps swimming with images from the trip. It will be so interesting to see how the political process unfolds for the country. I wish, for the Burmese people, a non- violent transformation to greater freedoms and prosperity.
I photographed a series of a boy in the countryside who had a caged bird. For me it represented the Burmese population whose freedoms had been severely curtailed under the current rule. A counterpoint to the caged bird was the kite flying activity which was evident everywhere in the cities and the countryside. Every day hardships were put aside as the kites took to the skies. These were the last photographs I took, offering the hope of transcendence for the country.
Perhaps the time has come?