Portraits of Independence: A look inside the Kachin Independence Organization by Ryan Libre
Exhibition launch: 7pm Fri, April 2, 2010
The KIO/KIA (Kachin Independence Organization) are on the forefront of many major issues in Myanmar this year: the Boarder Guard Force issue, negotiating state rights, contesting the new constitution, the Myitsone Dam and the 2010 elections. The KIO/KIA is not just fighting against the military government, they are proactive on many fronts from health care and education to infrastructure and agriculture.
They run a nearly complete parallel government ready to take power if given state rights or independence. This exhibition will give you a closer look at who they are and what they do.
Ryan Libre has spent three months with The Kachin Independence Organization, partly financed by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. This show will also be exhibited at the Nikon Salons in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan.
Before spending the last eight years Thailand & Japan, Ryan went AWOL from the US Army and got a BA in Peace Studies. He has taken photos for 10 books about intentional communities in Thailand and is just starting an NGO called Documentary Arts Asia to support Asia's native documentary photographers and open a a non-profit gallery in Chiang Mai. Ryan is looking for help of any kind for this project.
When not working on projects or teaching photography workshops Ryan works on his adobe house outside Chiang Mai and brews ginger wine.
See more of Ryan's work at www.ryanlibre.com