Blood Rubies: A Lens into Burma

Christian Holst, Photographer; Brian Leber, President, Leber Jeweler, Inc.; David Mathieson, Senior Researcher, Asia Division, Human Rights Watch

The Burmese ruby trade generates about $500 million annually and accounts for over ninety percent of the global ruby trade. Over the past fifty years, these profits have supported the country’s military junta—leading the United States to ban Burmese rubies from entering the country. In recent months, however, Burma’s new semi-civilian government has loosened its grip on power and has begun improving the country’s human rights practices. Are these reforms sustainable? If so, will Burma’s gem trade regain legitimacy and be allowed to return to the United States? Join The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, ART WORKS Projects, Human Rights Watch, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography to learn how Burma’s ruby trade has affected the country’s evolving political landscape.

Regions: Asia.  

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