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Forced to flee

Posted in Book Launch, Burma, Chiang Mai, Ethnic Minorities, migrants, refugees

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Forced to Flee offers a child’s-eye view of Burma’s struggle for peace and democracy

Bearing witness to the real-life stories of children forced to flee violent conflict and persecution in their native land, Forced to Flee: Visual Stories by Refugee Youth from Burma, edited by Erika Berg, illustrates how a single narrative image can powerfully tell a story of a thousand words while building bridges of understanding.

For over 50 years, Burma (also known as Myanmar), was among the most isolated and oppressed nations of the world. Recently, the government has begun to implement democratic reforms. Yet beyond the media spotlight, human rights abuses have continued. This poignant, timely, and visually-arresting book honors the stories of refugees denied their rights, stories of trauma, resilience, courage, perseverance, and irrepressible hope.

Since 2010, Erika Berg has facilitated over 40 visual storytelling workshops in and along the borders of Burma, as well as in the United States and Canada. The workshops have taken place in refugee camps, a shelter for children who have been trafficked, orphanages, boarding houses, clinics, monasteries, churches, community centers, a city dump, schools, libraries, homes, and open fields.

In Forced to Flee, 196 of the youths’ “visual stories” bridge language and cultural barriers that have shielded the outside world from the haunting, humbling, and awe-inspiring truths behind Burma’s decades-long civil wars. Calling on our conscience and sense of justice, this deeply inspiring book is a testament to the indomitable spirit of those forced to flee injustice in Burma, and the transformative power of art.

100% of the royalties from the sale of Forced to Flee will be donated to refugee youth leaders dedicated to healing ethnic and religious divides and promoting peaceful coexistence in and along the borders of Burma.


Purchase your copy of Forced to Flee and support peace in Burma!

Forced to Flee is available now at Burma Study Center in Chiang Mai
and Borderline Collective in Mae Sot
975 Baht/$29.95 U.S.

Trade paperback with jacket flap • 212 pages • 8.25″x8.25″
Full-color throughout: 196 visual stories, six hand-painted maps, 64 photographs
$29.95 U.S. / 975 Thai baht (plus shipping)

For ONLINE ORDERS to Australia and Asia (*except Myanmar), please send us your name, email address, and shipping address. We will contact you with the total. Payment can be made via Paypal, and we will ship your book immediately. Email with any inquiries. See below for information about purchasing the book in the U.S. and other countries.

*For orders inside Myanmar, please contact Myanmar Book Centre.
For orders to the United States and Europe, please visit Paper Hammer.
For online orders to countries outside of Australia and Asia, please see

sample pages:

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Praise for Forced to Flee

“For many years, Erika Berg has worked diligently to open communications between traumatized refugees and the seemingly indifferent communities where they have sought refuge. Forced to Flee portrays and honors a genuine, heart-to-heart collaboration.”
Larry Dohrs, Chairman, U.S. Campaign for Burma

Forced to Flee will help readers understand the living situation of the more than 125,000 refugees still living along the Thai-Burma border who were forced to leave their homeland and now are growing up in overcrowded camps without enough nutritious food, health care, or education. This book captures their struggles, portrayed by the youth who experience them daily.”
— Naw K’nyaw Paw, Secretary, Karen Women’s Organization, Burma

“Visual storytelling is a powerful window into the complex range of issues and emotions that embody Myanmar’s current transition. This book is riveting for those who know the country, and those yet to be captivated by it. The pictures speak many thousands of words.”
— Aela Callan, filmmaker and journalist

Forced to Flee reflects the Shan people’s life in Shan State and along the Thai-Burma border. I think people who live inc ivies throughout Burma should read this book. Then they would understand that in the more remote rural areas of the country, people continue to suffer from human rights abuses and can only dream of peace.”
— Larn Tai, Shan Youth Power

For more information about the Forced to Flee project, please visit


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