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Karen Fighters (2012)

The Karen people are one of the seven ethnic groups inhabiting the Myanmar area. Their territory runs along the Thailandese border. They have been struggling for their own independence against the Burma regime since 1948

About the reportage

The Karen people are one of the seven ethnic groups inhabiting the Myanmar area. Their territory runs along the Thailandese border. They have been struggling for their own independence against the Burma regime since 1948: this war hasn’t finished yet and has resulted in a massive migration of the Karen people to Thailand where they often live in refugee camps. The biggest and most important is that of Mae La which presently hosts over 50.000 people. But many other Karens cross the border not just for political reasons: they escape find a job in Mae Sot a growing, industrial reality beyond the Moei river, the actual border between the two states. Here, the women work in a quasi-slavery condition. Others, escape as illegals and end up living as dropouts working as peasants with no assistance other than the little help offered by international no profit organizations. But the hard core of the Karen’s fight is still rooted in the very heart of Myanmar where an endless civil war is still going on between the wild jungle and the fields: cabins are set on fire by the regime and soon they’re built again by the rebels. This is an unfair, harsh struggle where the Karens behave like a real army. Rumor has it they are not afraid of the governament, they’re feirce and ready to die for their country and autonomy. They’re convinced to be unstoppable and they will fight until the segregation won’t be a distant memory and they could finally be free to talk and make the most of their own territory.

Pictures Taken

Photos

Karen Fighters (2012) - Luigi Baldelli [Photographer]