The training is about ‘seeing’. ‘Seeing’ as a photographer. Participants look at and discuss each other’s pictures, and at the end of the session edit their work into a yearly exhibition that travels from Borderline Gallery in Mae Sot, Thailand, to Canada and the United States. After the training, students use their cameras to document their work and lives on the border.
Photographs are for sale, with proceeds split 50/50 between the photographer and MSppa.
In the process we have a lot of FUN!
MY STORY photo project 2013
In January we returned to the Kwe Ka Baung Karen National School in Mae Sot to give our four new photo teachers the proceeds from their print sales in Canada and to see what they had been up to. Hge Thu is now an apprentice artist at PuzzleBox Studio and the other three continue to teach photography to their peers.
Next stop was Pyin Oo Lwin, Burma, to work with nine teachers and community organizers at the Lisu Theological Seminary. January plus mountains equals cold! We were glad to have socks, scarves, and gloves. This was our third trip to this former hill station and we were pleasantly surprised to see a new skate park, where the class spent a morning on a shooting assignment.
Eight pink cameras and eight young visual artists at the PuzzleBox Studio, a social enterprise in Mae Sot, took what they had learned from our photo workshop and passed on their new skills to students during a 2-week summer art camp held at four migrant schools.
Pa-O Women’s Union welcomed us (on our bikes!) to Mae Hong Son, a small border town north of Chiang Mai. After the workshop, the seven women and one guy took the cameras back across the border to Burma to document their communities.
Both these workshops were funded in part by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, Canadian Embassy, Bangkok.
March saw us going to Dharamsala, India, to work at a school for Tibetan refugees. The project was called Sontsa, which means seedling in Tibetan, and was the brain child of Trinley Palmo, a Tibetan doctor working in Dharamsala. Although the ten participants had very little English and we had no Tibetan, with Trinley’s translation skills and the liberal use of sign language, we think the resulting photos show that they got it! Because Trinley had wanted to include 20 students in the workshop and we could only handle ten, the original participants then ran the workshop for the remaining students after we had left.
We continue to stay in touch with our photo workshop teachers, Der Lweh, Eh Shoe, and Yawla, and many of our students who keep us inspired with their photos and their spirit.
The MY STORY photo project is a registered Canadian charity.
The MY STORY photo project is supported by:
Kick Start Art
Karen Youth Organization
Lisu Theological Seminary
Pa-O Women’s Union
MY STORY photo project association
& in part by a grant from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives