Celebrating Aung San Suu Kyi with Christian Bobst's print from Burma
Today, to celebrate Burmese democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi traveling freely abroad, we are officially launching Christian Bobst's print from Burma by offering 20% off all prints purchased before midnight EST Friday. Just apply discount code Bobst_03_Launch during Step 2 of checkout.
To explore Aung San Suu Kyi's story in more depth, see the bottom of this blog post. For a dose of inspiration about Bobst's print, we turn to Artsicle Curator Dan Teran. Dan has made several Nuru prints available for rent on Artsicle's website:
"It's been a long time since I thought about material security. I'm almost embarrassed to admit it, but it's true. After graduating college, I worked first in political consulting, and then in environmental law before departing career normalcy to take a role in a start-up venture in the art world. The words “start up” and “art world” when used in conjunction sound inherently like an insecure gig. Even still, I wasn’t concerned. I took a paycut, and in reality have almost no job security. I am at the whim of my benevolent founders, and a venture capital market that some economists would say smacks of the first tech bubble. But I’m not worried. I never have been. I have parents that provided a comfortable upbringing and helped me afford an expensive education. If worse comes to worst, I can swallow my pride and leech off my family like so many millennials before me. I hope it will never come to that, but in reality, it could.
When I first glanced at the image captured by Christian Bobst, I saw a group of men, monks, shoeless, clad in deep crimson robes, walking timidly towards a misty horizon. They are on a well worn path, traveled by foot, maybe bike, but certainly nothing larger. One man trails behind, whether from fatigue, or blissful indifference, I could not pretend to know.
After reading Bobst’s handwritten description, the image changes. If you haven’t read it yet, now would be the time:
I am moved. Something stirs. Indignation maybe? These monks, devoted to a life of peaceful spiritual worship, stand defiant in the face of a military state. Bobst’s shutter opened wide and the light rushing into his camera captured them in an instant filled with more uncertainty then I have ever known. In the events described by Bobst, these men, committed to a life of deliberate material insecurity, beholden to the kindness of a struggling people, turned down even that semblance of material security to send a message to an oppressive military regime. I don’t pretend to know much about Burmese politics, but I respect these men.
I appreciate the mission of Nuru Project and the involvement of photographers like Christian Bobst. His print is so much more than an image. It is a mission, a memory, a charge. For me, it is a reminder. In a post 9/11 world, we separate ourselves from the reality of our times with tweets about #FirstWorldProblems, #WhiteGirlProblems, and #ShitNobodySays. We make light of dark times, if only to forget. I appreciate Nuru Project for the continued light they shed on global adversity, and their commitment to support the most effective nonprofits in the world.
If nothing else, when I glance at the images collected by Nuru Project, I am for a moment aware of the world beyond my computer screen."
(an excerpt from NPR program On Point's coverage of the Aung San Suu Kyi story)
Burmese democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi spent 15 years under house arrest in her home country before being elected to Burma's Parliament in a remarkable political turn this spring. She has been traveling outside Burma (Myanmar) for the first time in years. Yesterday, the 67-year old Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and opposition leader became the first non-head of state to address both houses of the British Parliament. She got a standing ovation on her arrival to Westminster Hall and was introduced as "the conscience of a country and a heroine for humanity." She concluded her remarks by saying:
"During our dark days in the 1990s, a friend sent me a poem by Arthur Hugh Clough. It begins, 'Say not the struggle nought availeth'... we can work together, combining political wisdom from East and West, to bring the light of democratic values to all peoples, in Burma and beyond."