Tammy Law’s artist photobook «Permission To Belong»
Permission To Belongis a story of migration, home and belonging that documents the everyday lives of families from Myanmar (Burma) who have been resettled in countries abroad. Living against the backdrop of decades of repressive military rule and civil war, the renegotiation of these identities, family structures and sense of belonging are as diverse and complex as the history of Myanmar. Burma is a country that is home to 135 ethnic groups that are formally recognised by the Myanmar government, it is a country abundant in natural resources that has been subject to a set of overlapping, ongoing conflicts that began over half-a-century ago. For many families (originally from Burma) refugee camps are home. Many live in transition, between a place of impermanence and permanence, belonging and displacement and resettlement has become a common survival method for ethnic minorities, who are persecuted for racial, religious or political reasons. The Myanmar government estimates that there are currently 4.25 million Myanmar nationals living abroad. The book combines portraits of people in new domestic environments with 'fold out' posters scattered throughout. The posters are comprised of images from the 'inside' and once opened, transport you to the ‘outside’ facade of homes. Here, projections of images from within refugee and internally displaced camps along the Thai-Burma border are layered into newly resettled environments that respond to feelings of absence and presence expressed by the families involved. The portraits are coupled with written testaments from families living transnationally in USA and Australia. Much of the narrative surrounding Burma concentrates on the country’s internals problems but personal experiences are often left behind. In Australia our current government policy is shaped around border protection concerns and that idea that asylum seekers are breaking the rules. This book is a tribute to families who have been moving across continents in search for a place of home and belonging. Book specifications «Permission To Belong» Fully handmade artist edition of 95 copies. (edition number is based on the country calling code for Myanmar/Burma). Book: 105 pages Box: 145mm x 195mm x 35mm Handbound, Hardcover, 3 Types of Paper Available here: http://reminders-project.org/rps/permissiontobelongsaleen/ Tammy took part in the 2017 RPS Photobook As An Object workshop under the direction of Yumi Goto and Jan Rosseel and developed the original dummy into a fully handmade artist book. The book dummy was shortlisted in the Singapore International Photo Festival (Singapore, 2018) and was exhibited at Photo Bangkok (Bangkok, 2018) and Photobook New Zealand (Wellington, 2018).