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ELEANOR HALL: The delay in getting aid to the victims of Cyclone Nargis has been watched with
dismay by many Australians.

One Melbourne student visited a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border last year. Now he is
exhibiting his photos in Melbourne to raise money for the Burmese people.

Samantha Donovan visited the gallery for a preview of the exhibition which opens tonight.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: In a gallery hidden in one of Melbourne's narrow laneways, preparations are
underway for the launch of Eli Greig's photographic exhibition tonight.

The RMIT University student is doing an honours thesis on sustainable refugee camps.

Many of the photos were taken when he spent time at a camp for 15,000 Karen refugees on the
Thai-Burma border.

ELI GREIG: The camps are absolutely incredible. We spent six hours in the back of a pick-up truck,
and then you're plunged down into a deep valley and it is a kind of a bit of romanticism but you
come down into this deep rain forest valley and there's just huts all across the mountains and
along this beautiful river with suspension bridges across the river.

And it's is sort from a naive Westerner's eye, it is just romantic looking agricultural village and
then you get closer and then all of the Thai military guys come out with their guns, and you stop
and they check your ID and all that sort of stuff.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: And what a contrast to the jungle? There is a teeming mass of about 15,000 people
in the camp.

ELI GREIG: Yep, 15,000 people and the majority of them, I think about 75 per cent are under 15
because either they have fled after their parents were killed or their community was destroyed.

So as soon as you enter, you are mobbed, literally mobbed by a 1,000 children and followed for the
rest of your time there by children.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: And we are standing in the gallery in front of some of your photos of the
children. What did you see in them that you wanted to capture on film?

ELI GREIG: Excitement. Joy. Playfulness. The pictures on the wall are all of one family.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: What have they been through that you feel makes them so deserving?

ELI GREIG: Their villages have been destroyed year by year. So every year in the dry season, the
Burmese military come through and raze their villages, burn their villages. Conscript the boys of
fighting age. If they're not conscripted they are killed. Men older than fighting age are generally
just killed or lost.

So they trek through the forest for as long as it takes, days, weeks. Snakes, tigers, pythons,
bandits, everything you can image. Small children on their own and groups of children, they get to
these camps and they spend 10 years in these camps, often without their parents.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: After Cyclone Nargis, Eli Greig has been keenly watching the news to see how the
Karen people have survived.

ELI GREIG: First of all, we are pretty sure that everything is fine. They would have got very wet.
West of there on the Burmese side, the typhoon, the edge of the typhoon or cyclone did cross the
Karen homelands.

No-one knows anything and that is part of the problem. No-one knows anything in the areas that were
most severely hit and no-one knows anything about what happened in Karen state.

Generally the Burmese junta don't go there in wet season. They'll come back in the dry season and
burn the villages again, so everyone is just in the dark.

ELEANOR HALL: Melbourne student, Eli Greig, speaking to Samantha Donovan and his exhibition opens
tonight at the McCulloch Gallery in Melbourne.