Thursday, August 23, 2012

Falise to launch Burma book in Bangkok

Thursday, 23 August 2012 14:46 Mizzima News

The veteran journalist, Thierry Falise, will launch a collection of photographs and text, Burmese Shadows, in Bangkok on Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. at the Thailand Foreign Correspondents Club.

A small boy struggles with a water pump. Falise, based in Bangkok, is an expert on Burmese ethnic armies and refugee issues. Photo: Thierry Falise

A native Belgian, Falise is an expert on Burma, its ethnic insurgent groups and refugee issues. He has been based in Bangkok since 1991, and he has reported for AP, Time, Newsweek, New York Times, The Sunday Express, The Sunday Times, Far East Economic Review, South China Morning Post, Asiaweek, L'Express, Le Point, Le Monde, Marie Claire, Der Spiegel, Die Welt and other publications.  His photography is represented by two agencies, Gamma in Paris and OnAsia in Bangkok.

Among his other work is a biography on Aung San Suu Kyi, Le Jasmin ou la Lune (Florent Massot 2007). In 2010, he provided testimony on Burma's complex ethnic issues at the European Parliament.

The book draws on 25 years of Burma coverage, depicting the sweep of changes the country has experienced and the effect on its people. Stark realities are juxtaposed against simple moments, revealing the depth of the people’s courage and their spirit. Arresting images capture the feel of ethnic armies and warlords, humanitarian commandos operating in areas where the Burmese army operated a shoot-on-sight policy, jungle schools, and the key roles that animism and Buddhism play in Burmese society.

Featuring more than 218 full-­‐colour photographs, the book ventures far beyond Rangoon and the fascination with democracy icon Aung San Su Kyi to explore the complexity and diversity of a country and its people, who have been rocked by conflict, dictatorship and poverty ever since the military took power half a century ago.

Publisher Andrew Peden Smith said: “We are immensely proud to be publishing Burmese Shadows. Over the past 25 years Thierry Falise has entered Burma, both above and below the radar, to ensure that key issues, especially the plight of refugees and ethnic minorities and the systematic onslaught they have faced from the Burmese army, are brought to light.”

Falise said, “The one thing that has continually struck me during the 25 years that I have covered Burma is the resilience of the Burmese people and their refusal to give up their ethnic identities, and this book is dedicated to them."

Falise will present an overview of his work from the book before opening the floor for questions and answers.

McNidder & Grace, the publisher, will offer the book at a discount during the event. The accompanying photography exhibit will run through September.

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