By Michael Vitron ’12, ’13
Students will have the opportunity to listen to and view the work of Law Eh Soe, a Burmese photojournalist and refugee, at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University.
Law’s photos depict Burma’s (more commonly known as Myanmar) struggles as the people work to reform a repressive military government. Amid reform efforts stand other social obstacles such as ethnic and racial tensions, which have deterred the process.
Law, who now makes his home in Buffalo, had to flee his hometown of Rangoon when the government twice tried to arrest him for the photos he had shot of a monk uprising. He spent months on the run, hiding out in friends’ homes before escaping to the United States.
“It’s like an iron curtain in Burma; they want to block the world from seeing the country,” Law said in an interview with a website called Democratic Voices of Burma. “But for me, I decided, one day I will become a photojournalist. I didn’t become a photojournalist because I was hard-working, I became a photojournalist because my heart was burning for it.”
Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with Law in the rotunda of the Quick Center after the presentation. Refreshments will be served, freshmen can use the presentation as a passport event and seniors can use it as a Clare Forum plenary.
Those unable to attend the presentation can see Law’s photography on display in the rotunda until Nov. 19.
“It is difficult for us in the United States to understand that the freedoms and liberties we enjoy in this country are not universal,” Dr. Pauline Hoffmann, dean of the Russell J. Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said. “Law was essentially forced to flee his country because of his photographs. I am thrilled that we are able to bring a photojournalist of Law's stature to SBU."
About the University: Inspired for more than 150 years by the Catholic Franciscan values of individual dignity, community inclusiveness, and service, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them.