More than 2 million migrant workers from Burma are working across Thailand. Due to poverty and political affairs in Burma, thousands of Burmese people had left their home towns to work in Thailand.
Most of the Burmese migrant workers try to earn money to support their families left in Burma and most of them work in menial jobs, low-paid jobs. Some of the migrant workers do not have legal immigration status and are working in dangerous situations without proper safety or healthcare. Some of them are also believed to be victims of human-trafficking or facing possible risks of human-trafficking.
This photography project was shot inside the migrant workers’ camp located on the outskirt of Chiang Mai, Thailand. Most of them were Burmese, Shan, Mon and few Thai ethnics and working for a construction company. Even though they have immigration and migrant worker status, they are still not earning much amount of money and living in poverty. Everyone is counting the days until they can go back home.
This is my first portrait photography project and I am trying to learn about the environmental portrait photography, inspired by 2011 World Press Photo portrait story winner, Andrew McConnell. Within one week period of time, I visited that camp frequently and tried to be friends with migrant workers to get familiar to know what they are doing and how they are living. People living there are lacking in physical objects but they’re so kind and so friendly that I felt like I was part of them and documented their lives later. I named my project as “Portraits of Poverty”.