MYANMAR: Crowdsourced Photography Website Showcases the Beauty of Everyday Life

Photo from Featured Collectives by Thet Paing Htay. Life of Ferry Boats. Yangon, Myanmar. 2015. CC License

Photo from Featured Collectives by Thet Paing Htay. Life of Ferry Boats. Yangon, Myanmar. 2015. CC License

A crowdsourced photo blogging website, Featured Collectives, encourages submissions from photographers who capture the day-to-day of Myanmar's ordinary people.

Photographer Chit Min Maung, who is running the site, told Global Voices that the online project is intended to showcase the creativity of Myanmar's photographers and link them to the international community. He said:

In Myanmar, we usually shoot landscapes and portraits and we don’t make much choices. So, we wanted to show that we still have different types of photography other than those two.

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, was under military dictatorship for more than 50 years until it transitioned to constitutional democracy in 2010. During the military rule, Myanmar largely remained detached from the rest of the world, preserving a unique culture and way of life. Last year, the opposition defeated the military-backed party in a historic election that could usher in a new era in Myanmar society.

As Myanmar prepares to pursue more reforms in the next few months, websites like Featured Collectives are essential in documenting everyday life in a rapidly changing society.

The photoblog features photo essays and individual photos submitted by photographers from both inside and outside the country. For example, one collection shows a man creating wooden beads.

Photo from Featured Collectives by ThuYein. © ThuYein Photography. CC License

Photo from Featured Collectives by ThuYein. © ThuYein Photography. CC License

The essay reads:

Beads are an essential object for Myanmar people. It is evident that it has also been a form of women’s jewelry. Bead necklaces from the Pyu era 2,000 years ago were famous. […] Ornamental beads may not be used by everyone but meditation beads are important for every Myanmar Buddhist. […] Meditation beads are primarily made from wood. As it is considered sacred, they are made using fragrant wood. […] Mandalay is the centre for providing almost all of the country’s meditation beads. […] Leftover fragrant wood from the production are not simply thrown away after making beads. They will be used during the holy festival, called Da Poe Twe, to offer fire to the Buddha image.

Here are some more of our favorite photos that depict everyday street scenes in Myanmar. Make sure to visit the website to see more amazing photos.

Photo from Featured Collectives by Phyo Hein Kyaw. Childhood. Mandalay, Myanmar. 2015. CC License

Photo from Featured Collectives by Phyo Hein Kyaw. Childhood. Mandalay, Myanmar. 2015. CC License

Photo from Featured Collectives by Khant Min Htun. Mandalay, Myanmar. 2016. CC License

Photo from Featured Collectives by Khant Min Htun. Mandalay, Myanmar. 2016. CC License

Photo from Featured Collectives by Thant Zaw. The Coffee Shop. Yangon, Myanmar. 2015. CC License

Photo from Featured Collectives by Thant Zaw. The Coffee Shop. Yangon, Myanmar. 2015. CC License

Photo from Featured Collectives by Myat Thu. Rakhine State, Myanmar. 2015. CC License

Photo from Featured Collectives by Myat Thu. Rakhine State, Myanmar. 2015. CC License

Photo from Featured Collectives by Zarni Phyo.Novices. Lashio, Shan State, Myanmar. 2015. CC License

Photo from Featured Collectives by Zarni Phyo.Novices. Lashio, Shan State, Myanmar. 2015. CC License

Photo from Featured Collectives by Zarni Phyo. Yangon, Myanmar. 2015. CC License

Photo from Featured Collectives by Zarni Phyo. Yangon, Myanmar. 2015. CC License

 

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON GLOBALVOICES.ORG

 

THANT SIN

@thantsin27

Thant Sin is a post-grad media and development student at SOAS. He is interested in all things about Myanmar society, linguistics and history. Also Burmese language lingua editor at GV Myanmar. Feel free to drop him a line.