Kelsey Peden


Kyi sat on the banks of the Inya Lake, saying goodbye to the place they said was no longer her home. The government of Myanmar had given her an option: leave or be arrested. She felt lucky to leave; most activists she knew did not get a warning first. A few kilometers away, her parents’ graves sat cleaned, adorned with fresh flowers. She hoped her sister would keep up the task in her absence, but she hadn’t been able to get ahold of her in quite some time. The feeling of the country was getting more concerned—"frantic" she explained, laughing, "everyone is afraid to answer the phone," as if the doors that had swung open to the world a decade earlier were showing signs of slamming closed again.