You Got Eyes!

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Burmese refugees tell their own stories through photos.
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Bonnie Baker
Education
Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia
Canada
5 Team Members

Burmese refugees tell their own stories through photos.

MY STORY Photo Project Association (MSppa) is run by small group of artists and volunteers living in rural Nova Scotia Canada. We have been giving digital cameras and photo training to Burmese refugees since 2006. Working with community based organizations (CBO) on the Thai/Burma border, Nat and Susan Tileston, retired professional photographers and founding MSppa members, have trained over 250 young men and women living in Thailand refugee camps to use photography as a way to express their own points of view. 

MSppa runs 4 to 5 photo workshops each year in Thailand. At the end of the workshops, the students select images for an exhibition at Borderline Gallery in Mae Sot, Thailand, ARTsPLACE in Annapolis Royal Nova Scotia, Canada, and at points in between for additional exhibitions.  For many of the students, these exhibits are first step to building a professional life outside of the camps. Whenever prints are sold through exhibits, MSppa splits the proceeds 50/50 with the photographers. After the workshop ends, the student keep the cameras and continue to send their work to the project to be posted on our website and blog.

The projects we are raising funds for:

In 2013 MSppa will set up 2 new photo projects with the Brilliant Burma Art Studio,a group of Burmese migrant students using Street Art to empower themselves and encourage social change and Pa-O Women's Union (PWU) a Burmese CBO which promotes Pa-O Women's rights and empowers women to become leaders in politics, economics and society.

Brilliant Burma Art Studio 

In January, 2013, we are working with 8 young street artists in Mae Sot, Thailand at the Brilliant Burma Art Studio. These ethnic Karen, Shan, and Burmese emerging artists run art classes at schools for migrant workers’ children as well as making their own art. By giving them another tool to use, they will be able to take the cameras into these schools and get the kids to tell their own stories.

Pa-O Women's Union

In April, 2013, we are going to Mae Hong Son, in Northern Thailand to run a 10 day photo workshop with the Pa-O Women's Union. PWU runs a school to teach assertiveness training, peace building, English, and computer skills. Women attend the school for one year and then return to their villages, taking part in community affairs for a following year. Our students take their cameras back to their villages to document their community work.

 What these projects need:

  • 18 entry-level digital cameras 

  • 14 battery chargers 

  • 9 rechargeable batteries

  • food for students while they are away from home at the workshops

  • exhibition prints

  • workshop materials (ink cartridges, paper, CDs)

Total costs for materials and food: $2637 Cdn

After figuring in Indiegogo's 4% fee, credit card and Paypal's fees and the shifting US/Canadian exchange rate, we decided to set our goal for $2900.  

Why we do this.

The civil war that continues between the ethnic minorities and the Burmese army has been going on since 1962. Some of our students have lived their whole lives inside a refugee camp in Thailand, some have spent their early years living in the jungles of Burma, burned out of their villages by the Burmese military. Others live as stateless persons on the border, risking deportation every day.

Living back here in Canada in safety, MSppa members know we are very lucky to be born in a country that doesn't suspend our rights just because of our politics or place of birth. While we can’t stop the fighting, we can give young refugees the tools to tell their stories to the world. They can tell their stories much more powerfully than we ever could.

We are asking you to help give them a voice.

Thank you, Susan, Nathaniel, Wayne & Bonnie at MY STORY photo project association

MY STORY photo project association is a registered Canadian charity.

 Please help spread the word about You Got Eyes! through your own networks or use the share buttons here at Indiegogo.

Or if you just want to learn more about MSppa and what else we do without any obligation, go to our website .

 

Find This Campaign On
$900USD
raised in 3 months
31% funded
No time left
$2,900 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on December 26, 2012
Select a Perk
  • $10USD
    The Point & Shoot

    You will get a personal thank you shout out from the workshop students to be posted on our blog and FB site. Your name will be added to our donor list with a cheery thank you from the MSppa team.

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2013
  • $25USD
    The Snapshot

    You will receive a personalized thank you card featuring an exhibition image taken by one of the students and a Canadian tax receipt. Your name will go on our donor list with our enthusiastic thank you!

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2013
  • $50USD
    The f-stop

    You will be sent a Mystery Party Favour from Thailand selected by our students, a personalized thank you card featuring an exhibition image taken by one of the students and a Canadian tax receipt. Your name will be go on our donor list on our website along side a warm thank you from Msppa!

    2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2013
  • $100USD
    The Macro

    You will receive a set of 4 blank note cards featuring exhibition images taken by students. You will also receive a Canadian tax receipt and your name added to the donor list on our website with our sincere thank you!

    5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2013
  • $250USD
    The Wide-angle

    You will receive a 4x4 ceramic tile decorated with an exhibition image taken by a student, plus a Canadian tax receipt. Your name will go on the donor list on our website with our heartfelt thank you!

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $500USD
    The Large Format

    You will receive a matted 8x10 photo taken by a student plus a Canadian tax receipt. Your name will be added to our donor list on the website. And a large thank you from the MSppa team.

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
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