the power of photography

Families of the Dump by Gerry Yaum

Toronto. Back in September 2oth, I received an email from Gerry Yaum, an Edmonton AB photographer about his ambitious video and stills project called “The Families of the Dump”. I sent it along to a few PHSC members who replied the following day. On the 16th of this month, Gerry sent an email with further details and links to our editor, Bob Lansdale, in response to Bob’s suggestions. Bob graciously sent his message on to me.

Gerry’s video, “The Families of the Dump”  is up on youtube and is well worth viewing. Gerry also has a number of other videos posted on various subjects, many relevant to us.

Gerry writes the following about his “Families of the Dump“, video, “The idea behind this video is two fold, one.. to give a more interactive interesting educational experience for those that attend the exhibition [Living in the Margins] and two.. to put the photographs in context with a geographical location for the viewer. If they see the overall picture in video form it will be a bit easier to understand the photographs in their individual contexts.

‘The Mae Sot Project’ Artist Statement:

‘As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.’                                                                                                                                                   Nelson Mandela

“The Mae Sot Project (“Families of the Dump“) documentary photography series was made at the Mae Sot, Thailand garbage dump. At the dump approximately 400 people in 50 plus family groups live and work scavenging for recyclable goods. The families are made up of Burmese refugees mostly from the Karen ethnic tribe; who travelled illegally from Burma into Thailand. In Burma these people face political persecution and economic hardship, they came to Thailand hoping for a better life. 

“I make my photographs in the dump and elsewhere for one reason, to tell the stories of forgotten people. It is important that their stories are told, with dignity and compassion. My goal is to show the common humanity we all share.

“Please help the children and families of the dump by donating to:”

Gerry Yaum

Please note: It is best to use Garry’s videos on Youtube. He tells me the web sites are defunct or incomplete. Garry’s blog via the Analog Forever Magazine link has an error in the certificate raising a severe warning on my browser for the secure site (https). The http site is flagged as insecure (usual caution these days). The next day, browsing directly, his  secure blog site loaded without an issue.

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