|BURMA IN TRANSITION: a workshop with Gary Knight and Philip Blenkinsop|
DATE: December 8th - 15th 2012
departure on the morning of the 16th December
(Vernisage in Bangkok on 6th)
LOCATION: Nyaung Shwe & Inle Lake, Burma
COURSE FEE: $2100 (10% student discount)
Fee includes all tuition and editing, local help, arrival drinks and last night dinner. Flight, hotel are not included.
Two years ago the Burmese military began a process of political, economic and cultural transformation when they released Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest. When a nation is in the throes of fundamental change there is a window in which the old world is visible and untouched, where traditional culture and society still prevails and the onslaught of the outside world remains at arms length. Such is the case with Burma today.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Each photographer will work on an independent story or theme to be developed over the week producing an edit that will be projected on the last night. You’ll have daily meetings with Gary and Philip who will edit your work and help you work through problem areas to produce as strong a body of work as possible. The editing process is pretty direct but can lead to huge progress within a week and an evolution in the photographer’s mindset towards his/her work. Ahead of the workshop you should spend time reading/researching story ideas as this will mean you’ll hit the ground running. Often stories will change or evolve over the week but its helpful to come to the table with some ideas you’d like to explore. Gary and Philip spend one on one time in the field with each student. There will be three translator/fixers who will work with the entire group assisting in logistics and planning your story.
LOCATION AND ACCOMMODATION:
The workshop is located in a charming, eco-friendly hotel by the lake. Workshop participants can choose to stay at the hotel or at budget friendly guest houses in the town.
Shan state was once an independent principality and remains a vast and spectacular region of mountains and lakes in the west of Burma where several ethnic groups, including the Shan, PaO and Intha live a traditional way of life. Inle lake is 14 miles long and home to numerous floating villages and wildlife and has 7 different ethnic tribes living on its shores. Inle is a hub where the hill tribes come down from the mountain to sell goods and buy supplies. With its tranquil beauty it’s also a focus of the developing tourist industry.
Some simple story ideas to get you thinking. A study of any one of the ethnic groups that live in area. These include hill tribes like the Pa’O or the lake based InTha who live in stilted houses. Labour, agriculture, religion, landscape and architecture, viticulture all offer great possibilities for stories, or simply move around and photograph what you see without an agenda.
Whilst the past year has seen relaxations in travel restrictions, the nature of the country’s infrastructure is such that conventional tourism is only scratching at the surface of this enigmatic and beautiful land. The Burmese people are extremely welcoming and friendly and the wily and curious can dig deep into society. You can get around by foot, by boat, bicycle or hire car depending on where you want to focus your story.
Most participants will come through Bangkok on their way to Burma. On the night of the 6th of December Philip and Gary are opening an exhibition and projection of their recent work in Burma with their great friend Daniel Schwartz to which everyone is invited. It will be an opportunity to have a glass a wine and meet everyone. If you can’t make this vernisSage you can meet the group at Nyuang Shwe on the 8th.
ABOUT GARY AND PHILIP
Gary is a founding member of VII photo agency,
Director of the Program of Narrative and Documentary Practice for the IGL at Tufts University.
He has been selected as Chairman of the World Press Photo for 2013. www.worldpressphoto.org
Gary and Philip are at the zenith of highly acclaimed international careers where they have both constantly pushed the edge of the envelope exploring new ideas and visions through their photography. Their combined experience and enthusiasm for what they do is inspirational and it’s a statement of their ability to pass that energy to their workshop students that brings high numbers of repeat students to their courses and wonderful reviews.
They began their careers in South East Asia in the late 1980‘s where they met and shared a house in Bangkok during the period when they were photographing the civil wars in Cambodia and Burma. Over the next 25 years Asia has remained the central theme of their professional lives and the root of their unabated friendship.
Philip Blenkinsop is a uniquely creative photographer and winner of multiple international awards, Philip has been based in Thailand continuously since 1988. He works from the 2Snakes Studio, Bangkok.
For further information and registration, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
December is a popular time for travel in South East Asia and you are advised to book flights as soon as possible.