The Words of Kyaw Zwar is a collaboration between Voice of Witness and the Magnum Foundation's BE SEEN filmmaker Takaaki Okada, who created the piece based on excerpts from the narrative of Kyaw Zwar, a 41 year old political activist who was jailed for his political organizing during the 1988 pro-democracy uprising in Burma. The Words of Kyaw Zwar includes images courtesy of Lu Nan, Magnum Photos and an original soundtrack by Shoko Nagai and Satoshi Takeishi. This piece is the first in a series of creative collaborations with Voice of Witness and made possible by the generous support of the Panta Rhea Foundation.

As of August 2011, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, there were 1,998 political prisoners detained in Burma. They include monks, students, musicians, comedians, elected members of parliament and lawyers.

Kyaw Zwar’s story is one of 22 narratives from the book Nowhere To Be Home: Narratives from Survivors of Burma’s Military Regime compiled and edited by Maggie Lemere & Zoë West, published by Voice of Witness.

A Magnum Foundation, BE SEEN project

Photographs Lu Nan/Magnum Photos
Prisons of Burma, 2006-7

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