Under cover of night, two soldiers in a beat-up black SUV collected me from a border town in southwest China and smuggled me into Myanmar's Kachin State, a half hour's drive away. I'd come as a photojournalist to document the civil conflict there—the primarily Christian state has asserted its autonomy from the largely Buddhist nation for more than 50 years—after contacting the P.R. representative for Kachin's Independence Army (yes, the army has a P.R. team). I wanted to begin my trip photographing scenes in Myitkyina, the state capital, but the army had other plans. My escorts dropped me off at an office building, where I was kept under watch for a week, only allowed outside after dark, and only then in a hat and sunglasses.