Eyes to Burma
Celebrated Ashland photographer Fred Stockwell returns to Oregon and ScienceWorks after spending another year on the Thai/Myanmar border helping Burmese refugees living in a garbage dump. Stockwell will speak at ScienceWorks at 7 pm on Thursday, November 17.
This presentation will be an update to last year's talk in which Stockwell presented in words and original photographs portraying the hardship and surprising happiness in these refugees’ lives. In inspiring tones, he explains how the average Joe – himself – has found a way to bring basics – food, clothing, bandages and medical help – to families that live in shacks and pick through garbage every day for food scraps and recyclable cast offs they sell for pennies. Stockwell will give updates on clean water and roofing projects he has been deeply involved in over the last year.
These refugees fled the slave camps, genocide and civil war of Myanmar, also known as Burma. They arrived in the Thai border town of Mae Sot through the jungle without money or food.
“The people are Buddhist, gentle and caring with high moral values and extremely strong family bonds,” says Stockwell, who lived in the Rogue Valley from 1994-2008. “They are generous to a fault. No matter how little they have, they will always offer to share it with someone.”
He has created “a one man Peace Corps.” He finds donations of rice, soap and de-worming medicine, and brings them to families in total need. He bought $1 rubber boots for children walking barefoot over glass shards, worms and dead rats, and saved them from disease.
Admission is free with a suggested $5 donation.