Storm: The Fight for Democracy in Myanmar & the Diaspora, Documentary Photographs by Patrick Htoo and Law Eh Soe

religious procession

Law Eh Soe, Buddhist Novice Ceremony in Buffalo, NY, 2021 (detail)

January 19 - February 26, 2022
On-Line Film screening: My Buddha is Punk (2015), directed by Andreas Hartmann, available to the campus community, Zoom ID 98270413718.  

After many decades of living under military rule, the people of Myanmar, also known as Burma, feel they are caught in a storm every day. They struggle to have their basic needs met and are hungry for democracy. From 2015 to 2020, Myanmar citizens learned what it was like to live in a democratic society, happy to function in a government of the people.

On February 1, 2021, after the general election, the military in Myanmar seized control of the government, which the National League for Democracy (NLD) party had won by a landslide. Since then, the country has seen its largest protests since the Saffron Revolution of 2007.

woman protesting martial law in Myanmar

Patrick Htoo, Fight for Democracy, 2021 (detail)

Each day, the military is working to curb the activities of its population by instituting stricter measures such as martial law in parts of Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar, and the disruption of internet and phone services. The level of state violence against the protesters has grown as the public shows no signs of backing down.

More than 1,000 civilians have been killed under the current military coup. Yet, the resilient people of Myanmar protest every day in direct and indirect ways, employing peaceful and nonviolent forms of civil disobedience, a military boycott campaign, nationwide labor strikes, daily pot-banging, and a NLD red ribbon campaign in support of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Those who live in Myanmar and the global diaspora are also engaged in various forms of resistance through creative means. The exhibition features the work of two photographers who live in two different worlds while fighting for the same cause advocating for the people of Myanmar. Patrick Htoo is a freelance photographer and filmmaker based in Yangon whose recent work has focused on Myanmar’s Spring Revolution. Law Eh Soe was forced to flee Myanmar in 2008 and now lives in Buffalo, NY, as a photographer documenting Burmese refugees who have resettled in western New York.
Tsewang Lama, SLU ’10 & ’15
                                                          - Jordan Pescrillo, SLU ’12