Chan Chao: Burma: Something Went Wrong (Nazraeli Press, 2000)

Chan Chao was born in Kalemyo, Burma in 1966. He and his family left Burma for the United States in 1978. Nazraeli Press has published three books by Chao: Burma: Something Went Wrong, Letter from PLF and Echo. His Burma portraits were included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial.


In the summer of 1996, I found my way to the Thai-Burma border and sought out student activists who had called for democracy in Burma during the 1988 uprising. At the border I visited a rebel camp set-up by an ethnic group called the Karen. There I met and photographed Karen rebels, exiled politicians and students, all of whom were working together to bring an end to the brutal military rule in Burma. A few months later, in an effort to curb insurgencies in the area, the military government overran and torched the camp. I returned to that same border in the summer of 1997 to visit with student activists, and then, in 1998, visited another ethnic group called the Chin, on the India-Burma border.

Chan Chao

Publisher: Nazraeli Press