In 1997 35 000 Brus were forced out the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram after violent ethnic clashes with the Mizos. Since then the internally displaced Brus, also known as Reangs, live in six relief camps just across the border in the neighbouring state of Tripura.
In the beginning of the 90's Bru politicians wanted more autonomy for the Bru minority in Mizoram. But the Mizo's reacted immediatly with violence. Dozens of Bru's were killed, women raped and thousands of houses looted and burnt down.
The federal government in Delhi, the state governments of Mizoram and Tripura has not taken any serious effort to find a solution to the stalemate and resettle Bru evacuees. And for twelve years now NGOs don't' get permission from the different governments to work in the camps. While every month dozens of people in the camps die of malaria and other diseases which can be cured easily if doctors and the right medication should be available.
Photos© Stijn Pieters March 2010
Profile of Stijn Pieters
Stijn Pieters was born in 1976 in Ghent, Belgium.
In 2005 he graduated in photography from Syntra in Ghent but he already began to work as a freelance photographer in July 2004. His personal work mainly focusses on underreported socio-political issues.
To date Stijn carried out projects in Nepal, Indian Administered Kashmir, Palestine, Northern Ireland, Swaziland, Yemen, Morocco, Iran, Vietnam, India and Bangladesh. These projects examine diverse issues, from HIV/AIDS in Swaziland to gun culture in Yemen and Agent Orange victims in Vietnam to stateless people in Bangladesh.
For his work in Yemen in 2006 and Morocco in 2007 Stijn received respectively grants from the Pascal Decroos Foundation and the King Baudouin Foundation.
His work has been published in Belgian magazines like Mo, Menzo, Tertio, Vacature, Varen and Isel Magazine.
In 2009, Stijn was awarded the third prize of the 'Fotopersprijs Vlaanderen 2008' for his work on acid violence in Bangladesh.