- I have never been to Myanmar (Burma)
before, and when I was invited to join an expedition there by
fellow explorers Robin Brooks and Jessica Phillips, I jumped
at the opportunity to be the photographer on the team.
- Parts of Myanmar (Chin and Rakhine
State) used to have a long-standing tradition of giving the young
girls full-face tattoos, with the different patterns representing
different tribes. The practice was banned by the government in
the 1960's so any of the women that have them are getting older,
and many of them have died off. Our mission was to visit as many
of these villages as we could and interview these women, get
their stories, and take portraits of them before this art form,
and cultural tradition is lost forever.
- We spent 3 weeks going from village
to village via car, bus, boat, motorbike.. You name it. Sometimes
we'd end up sleeping on the floor of the local schoolhouse. It
was all worth it. We managed to interview 184 women in total.
Far more than we were expecting. The actual number of "tattooed
grannies" is unknown.