I recently undertook an assignment for The University of North Texas and photographed high-profile Thai businessman Charn Uswachoke at his home on the outskirts of Bangkok. Known in Thailand as Mr Chips, Charn is the Chief Executive and Founder of Alphatec Electronics PCL after buying the Signetics chip manufacturing arm of Philips of Holland back in the 1980s. The Alphatec group is behind one of the world’s biggest start-ups, Submicron Technology, a chip fabricator intended to build state-of-the-art 64 Mbit memory chips and other devices. In the late 1990′s it was believed Charn Uswachoke owned 10% of the world’s semiconductor market.
His most recent news grabbing headline was the large donation he gave to his old university in Texas, USA, in fact the largest single donation the university has ever received of US$22 million. He enjoyed his time at The University of North Texas so much that every year he also funds 150 scholarships for over-seas students believing that the universities future should focus on its expansion overseas especially in Asia.
Between the 22nd and 27th of August I will be shooting in Hangzhou in East China. For any assignment requests please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
This months issue of Geographical Magazine, magazine of the Royal Geographical Society in the UK, published a story that I worked on in January 2011. Collaborating with Bangkok based writer Denis Gray, ex-AP Bureau Chief, the story is about the the old warriors from Burma’s Karen minority who were employed by the British to fight off an advancing Japanese army inside Myanmar (Burma) during World War II. A handful of these soldiers still survive to this day, many in their 80′s and 90′s and mostly living in refugee camps along the Thai-Myanmar border. The story talks about the lack of support for these heroes that helped a foreign army fight another foreign army in their homeland.
Of course when covering such a topic it is impossible not to talk about the present day struggle of the Karen people who are still fighting for their independence in one of the world’s longest conflicts. First I covered the largest Karen refugee camp in Thailand, Mae La, with a population of over 100,000, during their Revolutionary Day celebrations which marks the anniversary of their struggle. Then I was taken in to Karen State inside Myanmar by The Karen National Liberation Army to photograph the training of new recruits at their 5th Brigade Camp, an 8 hours trek from the border with Thailand.
Whether a compromise can be made between the Burmese Junta and the Karen Army is anyones guest but until it does this war will continue to rage as it has done for over half a century.
To see more photographs from my trip inside Myanmar with the Karen visit www.lukeduggleby.com.
To learn more about Help 4 Forgotten Allies, a UK based NGO that provides financial assistance to those who assisted Britain during past conflicts www.handsoffriendship.eu.
Recently, I have started working with Geneva based NGO Gain Alliance. Providing images on specific topics they created the above banners that are to be used at conferences and events around the world. The top image shows Shan minority girls wearing their traditional clothes playing at a school in Chain Rai Province in Northern Thailand. The bottom image is from a Chinese high school in Yunnan Province in SW China.
The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) is an alliance driven by the vision of a world without malnutrition. Created in 2002 at a Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Children, GAIN supports public-private partnerships to increase access to the missing nutrients in diets necessary for people, communities and economies to be stronger and healthier.
In less than a decade, GAIN has been able to scale its operations by investing in and working alongside more than 600 companies across 36 large-scale collaborations in more than 25 countries, reaching close to 400 million people with nutritionally enhanced food products. Half of the beneficiaries are women and children. GAIN’s goal is to reach more than one billion people with fortified foods that have sustainable nutritional impact.
For more about GAIN visit www.gainhealth.org.