Jack Picone

State of Place.

Hundreds of thousands of displaced Burmese and ethnic minorities live precarious lives on the Thai/Burma border. They have fled persecution by Burma’s brutal military government, whose soldiers have burned their villages to ground, razed their crops and destroyed their livelihoods. The junta has crushed their communities through a relentless campaign of violence: murdering men, raping women and girls, and orphaning children. Survivors who make the long and dangerous journey through dense jungles, and across mountains and rivers, in their flight from oppression often illegally cross the border into Thailand.

On the porous, shambolic border of Thailand they scrape a living as cheap labor, in sweatshops and in rice fields, on building sites and in grimy brothels.

With no official status or "state of place", their existence is suffused with fear and hardship. At any time they may be captured and deported on the whim of the Thai authorities, and returned in cattle trucks to the evil regime in Burma they have fled.

Yet still they flock here to the Thai-Burmese border, striving to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.

As the Burmese junta adopts a new policy of 'openness' to the rest of the world and is in dialogue with political opponents, there has been no mention of accountability and responsibility for decades of abhorrent and abusive human rights violations.


j vimeo.com/47701789

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