Thursday, 19 April 2018

Isabel Corthier | Believers : Myanmar

Photo © Isabel Corthier | All Rights Reserved
It's not often that I stumble over a truly wonderful photographic website, and when it happens, I pore over its images very carefully...as long as it takes and relish the opportunity to share it on this blog.

The work of Isabel Corthier is worth poring over; especially that one its themes "Believers" happens to be one that has attracted me for quite a while during my own photographic journey.

For "Believers", Ms Corthier focuses her lens on Ecuador, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nepal and Myanmar. In the latter, her protagonist is a Buddhist nun called
Ayethikar, who at 21 years was sent to the Agayar Tawya nunnery in Yangon because she was sickly.

A few years later, she contracted Hepatitis C after being treated for dental issues. However, Ayethikar accepts her disease with Buddhist acceptance and equanimity.

The nunnery houses 30 nuns; one of which is 7 years old. The nuns arise from sleep at 4:00 am to start their meditation and for their housework.


Temples and monasteries are an integral part of life in Myanmar. It is estimated that they accommodate about half a million males, who are either vocational monks or novices, and around 50,000 nuns. Roughly-speaking, one percent of the population lives in one of the country's monastery or nunnery, completely dependent on the laity for all their material needs.

Ms Corthier's humanitarian work is prolific; her websites galleries include Refugees, Ex-Child Soldiers, Patients, Workers, Daily Life, Survivors and Believers.

Isabel Corthier is a freelance documentary photographer who works internationally for humanitarian organizations. Her work has been used for fundraising campaigns and communications for NGO’s such as Caritas, Trias, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF – Doctors without Borders), Vredeseilanden (VECO), Louvain Coopération, Ondernemers voor Ondernemers, Solid International and more…

Ms Corthier's work has been exhibited in China (Lishui, Pingyao), India (Calcutta), France (Barrobjectif), and Belgium, and some of her pictures have won awards. In 2014 she received the EP European Photographer certificate.
Since 2015 she has worked as a Fujifilm X-Ambassador for Fujifilm Belgium.