Though imprisoned they are everywhere with us. More than 2,100 political prisoners are currently incarcerated in the most horrendous of prison conditions in Burma’s notorious jails. Since the 1988 popular democracy movement inside Burma was crushed in a ruthless crackdown by the military regime, thousands of people have been arrested, tortured and given long prison sentences for their beliefs and political activities.
“Even Though I’m Free I Am Not” is a global documentary photography project about Burma’s political prisoners. Traveling across the world to South East Asia, Australia, Japan, Europe, USA and Canada, hundreds of Burma’s former political prisoners who have fled the country and are now forced to live in exile often as stateless people, will be photographed, coming together to raise awareness of the tragic plight of their colleagues still detained in jail.
This simple symbolic gesture of the palm being shown in the Buddhist Abhaya Mudhra with the name of a colleague currently suffering silently in prison written on it, becomes a combined act of silent protest, remembrance and fearlessness. Qualities instilled in all of Burma’s political prisoners.