The following is an extract of the press statement about a new book “Forced to Flee: Visual Stories by Refugee Youth from Burma”. You can download the full statement here or visit www.burmavisionsforpeace.org for more information, press kits and placing orders.
Equipped with Watercolor Crayons and Paper: A Child’s-Eye View of Burma’s Struggle for Democracy
Bearing witness to the real-life stories of children forced to flee violent conflict and persecution in their native land, Forced to Flee: Visual Stories by Refugee Youth from Burma, edited by Erika Berg, illustrates how a single narrative image can tell the story of a thousand words while building bridges of understanding. Supported by the book’s “Ways to Help” appendix and dynamic website, the youths’ powerful paintings ignite our empathy and inspire action on behalf of refugees and many others forced to flee.
For over 50 years, Burma, also known as Myanmar, was among the most isolated and oppressed nations in the world. Recently, the government has begun to implement democratic reforms. Yet beyond the media spotlight, human rights abuses have continued. This poignant, timely and visually-arresting book honors the stories of refugees denied their rights, stories of trauma, resilience, courage, perseverance and irrepressible hope.
Since 2010, Erika Berg has facilitated over 40 visual storytelling workshops in and along the borders of Burma as well as in the United States and Canada. The workshops took place in refugee camps, a shelter for children who had been trafficked, orphanages, boarding houses, clinics, monasteries, churches, offices, community centers, a city dump, schools, a textile factory, libraries, homes and open fields.
In Forced to Flee, 196 of the youths’ “visual stories” bridge language and cultural barriers that have shielded the outside world from haunting, humbling and awe-inspiring truths behind Burma’s decades-long civil war. Calling on our conscience and sense of justice, this deeply personal book is a testament to the indomitable spirit of those forced to flee injustice in Burma, and to the transformative power of art.
For more information and to order Forced to Flee online: www.burmavisionsforpeace.org