Saturday, January 26, 2013

Shoot Cameras Not Guns has arrived in Thailand!

We arrived safely in Thailand two weeks ago, and everything is going well so far!  As with most international travel, there has been a good deal of physical and cultural adjustment.  The frigid mountains of Colorado have been replaced by sweltering, crowded streets of Bangkok.  The smooth and simple transportation of the States has given way to logistical challenges, round-about routes and (mostly) safe-enough conveyance.  Ubiquitous American English and constant global media onslaught at home has calmed to simple speech, and murmurs of dozens of foreign conversations all around. We have finally leapt over the final technological hurdles so that we can stay digitally connected to friends, supporters and collaborators here and abroad.  Our minds are calming, our hearts are opening, and we're itching to get our show on the road!  
        We have spent our days here in Bangkok reconnecting with students, colleagues & old friends that Diana knows from her first voyage here 7 years ago when Shoot Cameras Not Guns was created.  They are very excited to have Diana and the project back in their "neighborhood"  and are looking forward to working with SCNG in its expanded form.  We have also been preparing, scheduling and finalizing details of the first round of workshops that we will be teaching along the Thai/ Burma border soon.  
Five levels of electronics at Pantip Plaza in Bangkok!
     Our first workshops will be in Sangkluburi, where the project was born. February 4-8 we will be teaching photography and photojournalism to NGO workers and journalists from Burma (Myanmar) for HURFOM (Human Rights Foundation of Mon-land).  
Immediately following our first stint in Sangklaburi we will be traveling to Chiang Mai and teaching workshops as part of the Chiang Mai Documentary Arts Festival (February 8th- 14th.)  During these workshops we will be working with migrant workers, and expanding our connections to the human rights community in the region.
     We are very excited to be underway, and happy to report that our entry phase has been positive, productive and invigorating!  

Ian getting familiar with the flashy and blinky aspects of Bangkok