Mekong Migration Network (MMN) and SEA Junction held the 15 October closing event of the Bangkok exhibition: Beyond “Tolerance”: Living Together with Migrants. The photo exhibition was held in Bangkok in collaboration with documentary photographer Mr. John Hulme from 8-16 October.
John Hulme’s photography documents the social inclusion and exclusion that Mekong migrants face in destinations of Thailand and Japan, and upon return to Cambodia and Myanmar. At the closing event John Hulme remarked, “Even 15 years ago when I was photographing migrants in Thailand, I was acutely aware that these issues would have increased importance through the years.”
Rebecca Napier-Moore, Mekong Migration Network Associate, launched and introduced the MMN Advocacy Paper Permanently Temporary: Examining the Impact of Social Exclusion on Mekong Migrants. She noted, “Governments have temporary migration policies which give migrants from Mekong countries only a couple years of permission to stay, after which they must re-apply, never knowing for certain if they’ll be granted new documents and if they can remain in the country of destination and continue their jobs.”
Migrants are treated by Mekong governments as if they are purely “temporary”, but how long is “temporary”? How long can one stay somewhere without hoping for a sense of belonging and acceptance? How long before one is allowed to play a full role in society?
The exhibition and advocacy paper invite Thai and wider Mekong society to look at what needs to change so that we can embrace the friendship and contributions migrants bring to communities. Work needs to be done to establish a society where everyone can live together as equals.
Notes to editors:
Following the exhibit in Bangkok, the photos will be displayed in:
- Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 21-23 October at Meta House (German Cambodian Cultural Center). For more information contact Sokchar Mom at email@example.com.
- Yangon, Myanmar, 28-30 October at Myanmar Deitta. For more information contact Thet Thet Aung at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For interviews or more information please contact email@example.com or:
- (English language) Rebecca Napier-Moore, Mekong Migration Network Associate, firstname.lastname@example.org, ph +66888936068.
- (Thai language) Omsin (Plaii) Boonlert, Mekong Migration Network Research and Advocacy Officer, email@example.com, ph +6686 923 8313.
- Mekong Migration Network (MMN) is a sub-regional network of civil society organisations working towards the protection and promotion of migrants’ rights in the Mekong Sub-region, which includes Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, and southern China. (www.mekongmigration.org, phone/fax: +6653-283259). The exhibition is part of a larger project supported by the Toyota Foundation.
- SEA Junction (or fully “Southeast Asia Junction”) is a public reading and meeting venue located at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center (BACC) in Bangkok. SEA Junction aims to foster understanding and appreciation of Southeast Asia in all its realities and socio-cultural dimensions – from arts and craft to the economy and development – by enhancing public access to knowledge resources and by promoting exchanges among students, specialists and Southeast Asia lovers.
- To view photos, the advocacy paper, and multimedia documentary and to access more information on migration in the Mekong, go to: www.mekongmigration.org