In February 2010, Burma Issues conducted a field trip inside Karen State to raise internally displaced persons’ (IDPs) awareness of the upcoming elections. While they were watching a video, the township where the IDPs were staying was attacked by the Burmese Military’s Army. They had to flee into the jungle and our cameraman decided to follow.
He became particularly interested in one family-a grand grandmother, 2 parents, and 4 young children-who have ensured permanent displacement for 3 generations. For 4 months he became deeply involved with them and managed to film an intimate portrait of their daily struggles. He had returned after a period of time to assess if their lives had improved. But they hadn’t.
As the family had to leave all of their possessions behind, their life is now a cyclical nightmare. Every time they manage to build a hut for shelter, or manage to plant a basic crop, they have to flee from violence. Soldiers and landmines ensure that returning is out of the question, which raises obvious questions about whether it is a safe time to consider the repatriation of Burmese refugees from Thailand. Regardless of the risks however, the family manage to keep on building new shelters but never manage to make a home.
Although shot in eastern Burma, this video highlights the plight of the countless millions of IDPs across the country who have to contend with extreme violence, food shortages and a lack of access to health care and education.
“Burma Issues a non-profit organization committed to building a grassroots movement based on village wisdom, culture and needs. Burma Issues focuses on long-term grassroots education and community organizing, rather than on solving immediate problems.”