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Claudia Wiens October 9, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Burma.
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Buddhist Nunnery in Sagaing, Burma 2008

Claudia Wiens (b. 1972, Germany) is a photojournalist based between Cairo and Istanbul, and she travels frequently to other parts of the world for her work. She contributes regularly to international publications such as Geo, BBC, Marie Claire UK, Colors among others. She is the author of two photography books, the recent one about Myanmar. In 2006 she received a project grant from Kulturwerk for her book project about daily life in Myanmar, which she finished in 2009. Her work often portrays unfamiliar aspects of the Middle East, and has frequently been featured in exhibitions in Germany, Egypt, and England. She speaks fluent German, English and Arabic, and is currently studying Turkish. She is represented by Getty Images/Global Assignments.

About the Photograph:

“I was working on my book project about daily life in various parts of Myanmar when I was lucky to find a nunnery in Sagaing where I could stay for as long as I liked. The nun Ma Singha was so kind to share her tiny room with me and introduced me to nunnery life. To my surprise she spoke fluent English and was very talkative and we had lots of giggles at night when we couldn’t sleep because of the humid heat. Life in the nunnery was not a serious matter as one could have expected, in contrary many of the nuns were very light-hearted. Early in the mornings and in the evenings they gathered in their nunnery temple for prayers. This was when I took this picture. The mantras and singing of their prayers always created a wonderful peaceful spiritual atmosphere. I am very grateful that they let me share these moments and gave me a chance to have an insight in their lives.”

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