In the United States, the risk of suicide is higher for refugees. It’s even higher if you’re a refugee from Burma. The trauma of fleeing a country in conflict can often turn into mental illness, even years later. But the Western concept of mental health doesn’t exist in Burmese culture. Words like “depression” often don’t translate. As a result, some Burmese refugees aren’t getting the care they need.
Jordan Hamilton is a performer who took his training in classical cello and transformed himself into a soloist who sings, raps, writes, and performs electro-acoustic arrangements on the cello. Originally from Maryland, he is a member of the Last Gasp Collective , and recently completed his master's degree in music performance from Western Michigan University. WMUK contributor Craig Freeman invited him to play his eclectic solo set live in the Takeda Studio and talk about his uncommon path to self-expression.