Saturday, December 30, 2006
We met many farmers both men and women who returned to the areas closest to new Burma Army camps to harvest their crops. It was said the Burma Army would shoot machine guns and mortars from the camps into the fields as villagers harvested to prevent them from getting food. One of the Burma Army tactics to crush the Karen people is starving them out of the land. This farmer armed with a gun was returning from harvesting on the frontline.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
This picture was taken by a Kachin Free Burma Rangers team member working in Karen State. It's the same girl in the earlier picture, this time being carried by her father. The Kachin team member who took this had barely ever used a camera before, I really like this one and he took many other good ones as well. The Kachin team was training to work in their own area of Kachin State in Northern Burma. They cared very much for the Karen and it helped one imagine that someday all the ethnics of Burma will be united...
These children were all part of the 350 villagers we met on the first days of our trip. The child with the knife was playing in the midst of their flight from war. I find it especially hard to witness children in these kind of situations, the fact that they don't completely understand the situation makes it worse for me. In the picture with the boy smoking in the background it's easy to see this, but I should add he wasn't much older and wasn't a soldier.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
This young Karen villager is heading for a refugee camp. She has everything she could carry from her home in the basket next to her. The Burma Army forced her and over 350 other villagers from the same area to finally leave for the border following the thousands of others who did earlier this year. The Burma Army is winning and I can only imagine if it continues this way Karen State will have completely lost her freedom...
I have just returned from another six weeks inside Karen State, Burma. I will start posting still images from the trip. What follows are my own insights and experiences of what I saw and decided to shoot, I don't claim to be an authority on the situation or understand all of it, I witnessed it and this is part of my account. A film will follow in the coming months. Thanks for taking the time to look and read, I hope some of these pictures help express my hope for these people's freedom and will unite people elsewhere with the same heart.