A Peaceful Rebellion, The Faces of Dissent in Burma

Curated by Chris Bartlett with Delphine Schrank

Featuring Chris Bartlett

Photographer Chris Bartlett and journalist Delphine Schrank, author of The Rebel of Rangoon; A Tale of Defiance and Deliverance in Burma (Nation Books, July 2015), combine the ineffable image with the poetry of language to convey the hidden and very human experience of dissidence: of a social movement, until now largely closed from the eyes of the world, whose members dared across five decades of brutally repressive military rule to wrest their country back and deliver it to freedom and democracy.

Between 1962 and 2011, Burma/Myanmar had been under the jackboot of successive military rulers. Since then, a new parliamentary system has cracked apart a measure of political space. We will show not only the heartbreaking beauty of the country but also the passion and sense of duty that have driven people out of conventional lives and into the often solitary, always risky, and ever-evolving struggle for their rights. Despite constant risk of torture, beatings, arrest, intimidation – and even if they knew they wouldn’t see the fruits of their efforts in their lifetimes – we ask: what does it take to stand up to authoritarian rule?

Bartlett-1 Chris Bartlett is a documentary human rights portrait photographer. His projects have included military rape survivors, portraits of Iraqi former detainees who were tortured by the U.S., and for Photoville 2015, Burmese dissidents and former political prisoners. His Iraqi detainee portraits were first shown and the Open Society Foundation’s Moving Walls exhibition. The project was reinterpreted as an installation and shown at Photoville 2014. Most recently it was seen at the Houston Fotofest and the Hamburg Triennial. Chris has been interviewed by the BBC, NPR, Canadian Public Radio, Al Jazeera, and many others.


Delphine Schrank is the author of the critically acclaimed The Rebel of Rangoon; A Tale of Defiance and Deliverance in Burma (Nation Books, July 14, 2015), a work of narrative nonfiction based on four years reporting undercover among dissidents in Burma. A contributing editor to the Virginia  Quarterly Review and a co-founding member of Deca Stories, she was the Burma correspondent for The Washington Post, where she was an editor and staff writer. Her award-winning journalism has also appeared in Foreign Policy, the Atlantic, Time, Mother Jones and The Responsibility to Protect; The Promise of Stopping Mass Atrocities in Our Time (Oxford University Press, 2011).