Residency / Workshops / Mentorships

Artist in Residency Program

This program brings emerging and established Kachin media makers out of their geographically isolated homeland for a three month residency with access to international advisors ready to help them with their projects. The residency program currently includes a choice of two space for living & working for free.

These projects are either; editing a film, writing a screenplay, editing a large body of work or creating a photo book.

Sakse hopes to offer food & transportation stipend in Chiang Mai + Passport / visa / transport to and from the residency - which is beyond the reach of the majority of people in Kachin / N. Burma. 

Please support Sakse to fully realize this project,  it would have a huge impact of the quality & quantity of media coming out of Kachin.

First documentary workshop in Laiza 2008
7 day intermediate visual story telling workshop

Cord Keller – Director & executive producer of Survivor,

teaches storytelling for cinema at our Laiza media center

We start our workshops by saying


“We are not here to train you to be ‘ minority / refugee photographers’. We are here to make you some of the best media makers in the world.”

During the past decade we have trained literally thousands of young Kachin, women, IDP’s, NGO workers, soldiers, church groups and individuals from all walks of life. From these trainings many have continued to create media and several have achieved high level international recognition.

Sakse’s countless workshops in Kachin have already been vital in creating a whole generation of media makers.

In keeping with our mission of working ourselves out of a job, Sakse also teaches our teaching methods to our most advanced students who spread this wave of media further and faster than any one teacher ever could.

Over a dozen world class media makers and educators have taught special workshops at our Laiza center, due to the complications of traveling there, their names must remain anonymous but they’ve all left important marks in the development of media in Kachin.

Sakse is currently trying to develop a Jinghpaw language online training program in the near future.


The Sakse Workshop Programs

Basic Media Boot Camp

Introduction to becoming a media maker

2 days with assignments

have taught 100+ participents

20-40 prefered

Intermediate photo

Visual Story telling & advanced camera functions

8 days with assignments

10 – 20 participants preferred

Intermediate FILM

Making first films in a team

14 days with assignments

10-20 participants preferred

Advanced Photo

Beyond press photography learning to document as art

14 days with assignments

5 – 10

participants prefered

Advanced FILM

Scripting & directing & the art of editing

30 days with assignments

5 – 10

participants preferred

Going Pro

How to make & keep a career in Media

2 days with assignments

5 – 10 participants preferred

Training of Trainers

Introduction to becoming a media educator

2 days with with teaching exam

5 – 10

participants preferred

Mentor Program

Covering all the real work of becoming a media maker.  Contracts, networking, professional presentation, a website, an exhibition & much more

2 years

2 per year 

4 at a time

The Sakse Instructors

Hkun Li

Hkun Li


Hkun Li is a documentary photographer from Myitkyina. He is an alumni from our programs, as well as an alumni of the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop and the Angkor Photo Workshop. He has had solo exhibitions at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand , The London School of Economics and several others.
Hkun Li received first place at the Yangon Festival in 2020 for his photo project about forced marriages among Kachin IDP women to Chinese Business men titled ‘Beauty Queen’

Awarded a full scholarship for a workshop at the Arles Photography Festival, he focused his work on the local Roma population in France.
He has since been journeying ever deeper into the remote reaches of Northern Myanmar, spending extended periods of time at IDP camps in the rugged mountains.

Ryan Libre

Ryan Libre



Ryan Libre has been teaching media making for over a decade. Besides the workshops he runs through Sakse & DocArtsAsia, he has taught for organizations such as the EU, the UN, the Olympic Committee, Chiang Mai University, University of Colorado, Where there be dragons, Trocaire & Earth Rights International. 

He gave two TEDx talks about his mission & passion to create a vibrant media culture in Kachin.  He is currently enrolled in an MFA program at the University of Colorado.


Yawng Htang

Yawng Htang


grew up in Nam San Yang village, which he had to flee from civil war in 2011. See Yawng Htang's archive on Sakse

Sinwa Naung

Sinwa Naung


In addition to making media, Sinwa is also the assistant curator of Everyday Kachin and organizing photography related resources to share.

He grew up in Namsang Yang village, which he had to flee from civil war in 2011.  

At Sakse, the workshops are just an introduction to the long process of becoming a full time media maker. We offer many levels of workshops to help our participants reach their goals in media, but much of the real work needed to make world class media makers happens during mentoring between or after the workshops. This is something Sakse really sees the importance of and gives a lot of resources to.

During our years spent working in Kachin we've found that workshops alone only go so far and to really get a competitive foot in the door of the media industry emerging artists need guidance on the long and difficult path to becoming an established creator. What this means in practice is our teams checks in through calls, meet ups and chats almost daily with our members and emerging talent in Northern Burma

It's just one of the reasons why Kachin Photographers have placed first place professional for best photo story in Burma, for four years in a row, despite being just 5% of the population. A support system for the long path and seemingly impossible goal of becoming a nationally, regionally or world recognized media maker is so vital to the real world success of our participants.

Our mentoring is free of charge and the mentees agree to mentor others in the future.

We accept 2 mentees per year for 2 year mentorships. This way we will have the 2nd year mentees also mentoring the 1 year mentees, in addition to our own mentors.

The mentees are given free website hosting for the 2 year period and are encourage to make their portfolio websites.

Real world examples of mentoring include

Answering questions about fair pricing and advising on media licensing agreements

Advising on grants & contests to be applying for and assisting the application process if needed.

Connecting our mentees with editors & gate keepers in the media world

Assisting in selection & sequencing of photo essays before sending to publishers

Yawng Htang's Portfolio

Sinwa's Portfolio