Capturing Myanmar Through a Lens


As part of the “Women in Art” series, the New Canaan Library is set to host acclaimed photographer and Connecticut local, Emily Kelting, on Thursday, January 25 at 7:00 PM. Kelting’s talk, titled “Myanmar: Art and Activism,” promises an insightful journey into her experiences and connections forged during her photographic exploration of Myanmar beginning in January of 2020.

The “Women in Art” series, sponsored by the New Canaan Library and the New Canaan Carriage Barn Arts Center, is a celebration of the diverse voices and talents of women in the world of art. The four-part series aims to spotlight and amplify the contributions of women artists, fostering a deeper understanding of their unique perspectives and creative endeavors.

A multifaceted creative force, Emily Kelting is not only a published author but also a professional landscape designer and the visionary behind “GreatScapes.” Her commitment to social impact extends to her role as the founder and CEO of “Ice Skating for Everyone,” a non-profit dedicated to teaching underserved children the art of skating. With a rich background in photography and over 15 years of teaching experience, Kelting’s award-winning photos have graced exhibitions locally, nationally, and internationally.

Kelting’s fascination with photography began at the age of 12 when she witnessed the magic of one of her black and white photos developing in a darkroom of a friend of her parents. Since then, her lens has captured the essence of diverse cultures, landscapes, and cuisines across the globe. Her talk on January 25 will delve into her artistic journey, particularly focusing on her experiences in Myanmar.

Traversing Myanmar with native Burmese guide KK Winn in January of 2020, Kelting encountered a spectrum of people—from cosmopolitan city residents in Yangon to novice monks, fishermen, and women with tattooed faces in remote “Tiger Hunter Villages.” She not only captured the visual beauty of landscapes during early morning and sunset photography shoots, but also forged profound human connections.

Kelting’s engagement with Myanmar transcends photography. During the challenging times of the 2021 military coup, she played a pivotal role in supporting Soe Soe Lwin, owner of the Luminous Journeys Photo Tour in Myanmar, whom she had traveled with during her visit. Organizing a Zoom call between Soe Soe, her daughters, Congressman Jim Himes, and eighth-grade students in New Canaan, Kelting raised over $6,000 to aid the family’s living expenses during the coup.

“Myanmar: Art and Activism” promises an evening of visual storytelling, shedding light on the interplay between art, activism, and human connection in Kelting’s experiences. The talk will take place at the New Canaan Library, 151 Main Street, New Canaan, CT 06840, on Thursday, January 25 at 7:00 PM. Interested attendees can register for the event through the New Canaan Library’s website.

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