By Tabatha Chaney


An elderly woman smoking a traditional Burmese cigarette. Initially I was captivated by her beautiful wet eyes and the heavy wrinkles that frame them. I was mesmerized by all the wrinkles on her face; for me it symbolizes proof of existence/perseverance.

I took in the jewelry she wore, the cigarette she smoked, her matter of fact body language and it was all visually inspiring. She didn't try to be a certain ideal woman, she didn't tense up and recompose herself when I directed my camera at her,  she simply was who she is and confident in it. 

I felt gratitude for her confidence, all the more so because we increasingly live in a world where perfection, youth, smoothness is idolized; it's exhausting, and completely silly to be honest. 

(Bagan, Myanmar)

Keith Friedlander