/29 Cities

Andrew Rowat

Collision Yangon

The title of the work is Collision Yangon, and it explores the forces that are currently colliding in the crucible that is Yangon. You have opposing forces of so-called modernity and development pressing up against traditional ways of life; new buildings displacing old; religious tension between Buddhists and others (mainly Muslims); political uncertainty as dictatorship transitions to a form of hybrid democracy; and the energy of the place – roiling currents of optimism and unbridled hope at a future yet unwritten.

That unwritten future is one of the main themes of my work as well. Yangon, and Myanmar as a whole, stands at a crossroads where it has the power (and hopefully the wisdom) to chart a path forward that benefits all of their people. Since I photographed this project we have witnessed the genocide against the Rohingya People so much of the hope that I harboured has been quashed.

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