2020 projects

Champion Migrant Learning Center – Mae Sot, Thailand

photo: Thu Yar Aung

January 2020

It’s a new year and a new beginning for the MY STORY photo project. Nat left us in August after a brief illness and Susan decided to carry on with a lot of help from her friends.

Akar at work

On January 21, Lin Lett Akar and I met 10 students at the CMLC near the Thai/Myanmar border. Akar, a young Burmese photographer/videographer, had offered to work with me and to translate. He was indispensible! He answered technical questions, he translated, he had some great assignment ideas and he ferried me back and forth between home and school on the back of his motorbike (never going over 40 kpm)!

Champion Learning Center

The school is one of over 50 sanctioned by the Thai government to provide education to children of the many Burmese migrants who work in the area. It’s not fancy and there’s not a lot of equipment, but there is an abundance of spirit! The noise level was similar to a jet taking off, because partitions between the classes are paper thin, but Akar has suitably loud vocal chords so we managed just fine. We had 7 girls and 3 boys, ages 12 to 17, took hundreds of pictures, went on a field trip to the local Burmese market, and edited their work down to 2 images each.

Portrait assignment

Here are some class photos:

Some of the pictures they chose for their exhibition:

photo: Win Maw Oo
photo: Yoon Waddy
photo: Aye Myat Tun
photo: Hnin Nandar Oo
photo: Thu Yar Aung
photo: Mg Thi Ha Zaw
photo: Wai Hnin Hlaing
photo: Saw Myat Noe
photo: Khaing Thazin Lin
photo: Moet Moet San

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