UNSEEN MAE LA An innovative arts project for Karen refugees from Burma to describe their lives through photography.
My name is Pi Kwi but my family calls me Topipi which means bird song in our Karen language. I was born on the Thailand-Burma border and moved to Huay Kaloke refugee camp when I was three years old. Over 6,000 people lived in the refugee camp until 1997 when the Burmese army crossed into Thailand and attacked our camp burning it to the ground. My family survived by hiding in the forest. After the Huay Kaloke attack, I moved to another refugee camp. My parents returned to Burma to take care of my grandparents.
I love to play the piano. Both my mother and grandmother play the piano very well. For many generations people in my family have played the piano and now I too am learning. It is our family heritage. One day I hope to help people in need, especially people with disabilities.