Teza Soe is a Burmese visual storyteller with a doctorate in photography, who received her PhD with a project focusing on the role of women in Myanmar society.
After reading the preface to her thesis, I felt that it would be a much better introduction than I could ever hope to craft for her. So, just this one time, I took the liberty of copying her own words, rather than write an introduction myself:
I left my country, Myanmar, when I was 16 to attend a university in Thailand. The reasons for me to leave home, a familiar environment, at such a young age to study abroad did not come easy. I vividly remember getting into the biggest argument ever with my parents just after the matriculation examination results came out. I still remember my total score was 2 points short of the cut off point for the University of Medicinethat year for women. That year the Ministry of Education had decided to raise the entry requirements for girls and reduce the requirement for boys because they felt that there had been too many women and not enough men in the country’s most pivoted profession. Up until that point, all my life I was told that the best thing I could achieve or the best profession I could get into as a woman in Myanmar, is the medical profession.In that moment, I felt like my whole world had ended as if everything I had worked for the past 11 years counted for nothing. And then I learned that my friend who got a lower score than I did could apply for the medical school, although his total score was 15 points lower than mine, just because the requirements are set much lower for boys. That was the first time in my life I felt so angry for being born as a woman. It wasn’t that I had failed; it wasn’t that I didn’t try hard enough; my only shortcoming was being a woman.
We will be talking about the historic role of women in Myanmar, why women are at the forefront of the democratic movement, and why female revolutionary leaders are a reason for hope.
In the face of the current Burmese struggle, please support the initiative Print For Crisis, founded by my friends Chiara Luxardo and Olga Stefatou:
On their website, 80 photographers offer their limited edition fine art prints for a very affordable price. All net proceeds from the sales go to journalists, photographers, and artists in Myanmar. Print For Crisis will last another two weeks and prints are selling fast.
Choose from the works of amazing photographers like Chris Steele-Perkins, John Vink, and Nikos Economopoulos - just to name a few. Go get yours now and catch me if you can.
Print For Crisis Website
Print For Crisis Facebook
Print For Crisis Instagram
I Support Myanmar
Teza on Facebook
Yangon Photo Festival
Lensational (a collaboration for free photography education for women)
"Disclosure", Netflix, 2020
History Of Myanmar
Get Jim Kroft's Song, "Love In The Face Of Fear"
Mind the Bump
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