From the first moment photographer Anna Swain laid eyes on Burma across the Thai border, she nursed a desire to visit. Years later, her journey is recorded in a beautiful picture book. Here she speaks of her journey....
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Anna Swain first travelled to the Golden Triangle as a 19 year old backpacker. “Our group came to the border of Thailand and Burma, and the guide pointed across the river. Of course no-one was allowed into the country then, and it always held a mystical place in my heart — I’ve wanted to go there ever since.” Jump forward a couple of decades, and the keen photographer fulfilled her dream, taking 2,500 shots on a family holiday. ” I had no thoughts then about making a book,” she says, “that came later.”
“I love really textural books,” says Anna. “Victoria Alexander is an inspiration, among others.” She taught herself to use editing and design software, then consulted with local self-publishing duo Captain Honey for technical tidying up at the end of the project. “The text is limited. I had a giggle when I sat down and started to write, as I’ve never thought of myself as a writer. The images speak for themselves — I selected all of them and spent a lot of time colour matching the pages.”
The quality of light, which Anna describes as ‘like a filter over the country’ is captured in these images that celebrate the rustic and the humble lives of the people. “My overwhelming experience was of the beautiful, gentle, generous people, and their gentle way of life.”