For those of you who don't know, there's a new project that myself and a few brave souls have decided to undertake. We're trying to capture and share the stories of a few of the 6,000 Burmese refugees living in Indianapolis. it’s been a pretty wild past few months - everything from interviews and trips to Malaysia to seeing the faces of Biak and Sui (our Indianapolis friends that came to the states 6 months ago after spending more than 3 years as refugees in Malaysia) after giving them gifts from their family from Malaysia, to administration, to planning an event at the Harrison Center. It’s been busy, but the best part, by far, has been seeing ideas come to life. The response of the local Burmese community here in Indy that has been overwhelmingly gracious – they are so happy that a small group of artists have decided that everyone in Indy needs to know about what’s happening in Burma and gain a deeper understanding of the lives of Burmese refugees – that has been the most rewarding part of this journey. Anyway, without further ado, here is a favorite image from the project thus far. There are many more to come, but check this lady out. She will be premiering on Dec 2 at the Harrison Center event in all her glory.
(photo by Katie, stellar illustration by Joel Rockey)
Her name is Ciang Kok Dob and she is one of the most fiercest people ever. I met her at the Community Centre in Kuala Lumpur.
As Sang Bawi (one of our translators) and I climbed over rails and the 2 foot wide gap (5 stories high) to get to our her building from ours – she laughed at us. I was wearing a skirt and had cameras strapped on my back.
As I began talking with her, I quickly realized that she was one of the sassiest women I’d met in Malaysia. We chatted about her about her childhood and school, that’s when she told me about beating up boys and getting in trouble for talking.