The International Herald Tribune reports that more than 1,500 people from over 20 countries have registered for a major gems auction in Burma this week, despite calls from human rights groups to block the purchase of precious stones from the military ruled country. Burma is one of the biggest jade and gem-producing countries in the world, and international auctions are a major revenue earner for the regime. It is expected that the auction will generate the equivalent of $200 million. International business transactions with Burma are done in Euros because of the United States' sanctions...so here's the question: why don't the Europeans follow our lead in this?
I thought that Frédéric Sautereau's recent October 2007 photo essay on Burma would be appropriate in conjunction with the above news, which contrasts with the poverty and miserable conditions afflicting the people of Burma today. The black & white photographs by Frédéric do an admirable job in conveying the hopelessness of the Burmese especially in view of the callous disregard of international businesses to their plight.
Frédéric Sautereau, director of the collective agency Oeil public, is a freelance photograph since 1995. He's principally a documentary photographer whose career has taken him to the war-torn cities of Belfast, Nicosia, Mostar, Jérusalem, and Mitrovica.
Frédéric Sautereau's Burma