Refugees Fleeing Myawaddy (and Clothing on a Bamboo Pole)

December 11, 2011 § 4 Comments

After living in Mae Sot, Thailand for 15 months, I said a sad goodbye to my friends this week, and spent four days traveling to return home to Portland, OR.  I have since been reflecting on my experience there, and wanted to share two drawings from the past year that demonstrate how life in Mae Sot could be both affecting, as well as mundane.

Refugees Fleeing Myawaddy, Gouache and Watercolor on Paper, 2010

This drawing is a picture of Burmese refugees walking in the hot sun down the highway from the river. Soon after my partner Elizabeth and I first arrived, fighting broke out 3 kilometers away in Myawaddy, the sister city across the border in Burma.  In a single day, an estimated 20,000 refugees fled Myawaddy into Mae Sot.  They were set up in a temporary refugee camp, and were sent back to Burma the following day.   You can watch a video of Al Jazeera’s coverage of the event here.

Conversely, here is an image of everyday Mae Sot. This is a preliminary sketch for a painting of laundry drying on a piece of bamboo in the corner of our yard.  I liked the visual of the triangular shadow from the morning sun on the cement wall.

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