James Mackay set out to publicize the plight of Burma’s more than 2,100 political prisoners by photographing former prisoners of the regime who now live in refugee camps or have emigrated. He asked the former prisoners to hold up their palm, a Buddhist symbol of dispelling fear, with the name of a political prisoner still in jail. Mackay’s subjects help tell the story of the hundreds of people who are arrested in Burma each year for merely exercising their freedom of speech. "The sole purpose of this project is to raise awareness of Burma’s political prisoners (...) They must all be released. Unconditionally”, said James.
James' exhibition of these photos, Even Though I'm Free, I Am Not , has raised amazing support for Burma's political prisoners. He will now spend up to one year traveling around Thailand, Japan, Australia, Canada, the US and Europe photographing former political prisoners from Burma with the help of org's like the Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.