“Do not be afraid,” Kyaw insisted, gesturing at my camera. “You are a guest, it’s ok.”
The construction crew of a nearby building paused to watch the repeated flash. It was late March, two weeks before bi-elections; at the time, flagrant acknowledgement of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD party was a freedom only tourists could flaunt.
Yet my memory card quickly filled up with subtle images of defiant civilian support. Stickers pasted inside rolling betelnut stands; flags sprouting out of garden plots; messages scribbled onto tuk tuk mirrors. Gestures that shook a brave fist in the face of the government’s majority USDP.
On April 2nd, thousands of Burmese would arrive at the polls, unsure if individual voices could outshout a regime. History gave them little faith in the safety of their actions.
Yet they voted anyway.
What’s stopping you? Nov. 6 is Election Day- please vote, America, vote!