Development Photography Series

Crossing road (Aung Hla Zan)
Crossing road (Aung Hla Zan)
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Kaung Hla Zan (unfinished bridge)
Kaung Hla Zan (unfinished bridge)
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by Aung Maw Oo (Blind men)
by Aung Maw Oo (Blind men)

“ဒီပံုေလးက မ်က္မျမင္နစ္ေယာက္ရဲ ့ သြားလာလူပ္ရွားေနရတာကုိ ရုိက္ခဲ့တာပါ သူတုိ ့ဘဝဘယ္ေလာက္လူပ္ရွားရုန္းကန္ေနရတာ ဓာတ္ပံုကေဖာ္ျပေပးပါတယ္”

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Thanakha Face (Kaung Hla Za)n
Thanakha Face (Kaung Hla Za)n

တုိးတက္လာေသာ ခရီးသြားမႈမ်ားတြင္ မသမာေသာ ရည္ရြယ္ခ်က္ႏွင့္ ခရီးသြားမ်ားမွာ သာမန္ခရီးသြားမ်ားႏွင့္ ေရာေႏွာေနၿပီး အိမ္ရွင္ကေလးငယ္မ်ားအေပၚ က်ဴးလြန္မႈမ်ား ရွိလာရာ သတိျပဳကာကြယ္မႈ ပိုမုိ လုိအပ္လာမည္ျဖစ္သည္။

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Boy (Lin Tayza)
Boy (Lin Tayza)

by Lin Tayza

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Water (Lin Tayza)
Water (Lin Tayza)

by Lin Tayza

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Homeless (Lin Tayza)
Homeless (Lin Tayza)

by Lin Tayza

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Brick Making (Kerstin Duell)
Brick Making (Kerstin Duell)

"Manual labour is one of the key features of the Myanmar economy – people toil under incredibly harsh conditions and heat, often carrying out tasks that machines could do in a fraction of time. This series was shot in 2015 south of Yangon in a village where the AIP Foundation supports water filters and health care".

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Rural Livelihood (Kerstin Duell)
Rural Livelihood (Kerstin Duell)

"Manual labour is one of the key features of the Myanmar economy – people toil under incredibly harsh conditions and heat, often carrying out tasks that machines could do in a fraction of time. This series was shot in 2015 south of Yangon in a village where the AIP Foundation supports water filters and health care".

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Rural Livelihood (Kerstin Duell)
Rural Livelihood (Kerstin Duell)

"Manual labour is one of the key features of the Myanmar economy – people toil under incredibly harsh conditions and heat, often carrying out tasks that machines could do in a fraction of time. This series was shot in 2015 south of Yangon in a village where the AIP Foundation supports water filters and health care".

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Rural Livelihood (Kerstin Duell)
Rural Livelihood (Kerstin Duell)

"Manual labour is one of the key features of the Myanmar economy – people toil under incredibly harsh conditions and heat, often carrying out tasks that machines could do in a fraction of time. This series was shot in 2015 south of Yangon in a village where the AIP Foundation supports water filters and health care".

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Battleship (Seb Higginson)
Battleship (Seb Higginson)

From a shoot about water quality in Hlaing Thar Yar, this is a foam battleship made by children living in a flooded part of the area. It was a great reminder that kids will always act like kids, no matter how desperate their economic or social situations may be. Development photography doesn't just have to be gritty and negative; there is an equally big space in it for finding positivity in change and the little details.

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Injection moulding (Seb Higginson)
Injection moulding (Seb Higginson)

This technologically sophisticated set-up really surprised me. It's a backyard injection molding business in Bago, next to the toilets in the pictured lady's garden. The machine was decades old and rusty yet still functioning, pumping out little green plastic containers for foodstuffs. It was not working on the day we visited; the temperature outside was too high, but the very fact that it was in this lady's garden and she knew how to use it surprising.

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Girl (Seb Higginson)
Girl (Seb Higginson)

The girl in the photo is not yet a teenager, but is HIV positive as the result of a contaminated blood transfusion. She faces enormous stigma if her condition becomes known - as a result, the whole shoot was conducted under the awareness that attaching her real name or information to any of the photos could dramatically change her life for the worse.

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Rural Woman (Shwe Wutt Hmon)
Rural Woman (Shwe Wutt Hmon)

We talk a lot about gender mainstreaming in our programs and development works. When we visit to a rural community in Myanmar, we can see that women work on almost every thing, from household works and carrying woods and water to farm works and local businesses. It’s not enough to say that women can be a leader in not only politics and visible leadership positions. As a large number of people resides in rural areas in Myanmar, we must think what we can create positive change in women's lives.

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Farm to Market (Shwe Wutt Hmon)
Farm to Market (Shwe Wutt Hmon)

The beautiful sunflower field stopped me in one of my trips in dry zone. I found out that people are cultivating, harvesting and carrying different crops. Women are also working there. Some are assistants to their spouses in the farm works after their household works. Both men and women are working and contributing But when we say “peasant” (Lal Tha Mar), the term is always dominantly assumed as male and hardly promotes the role of women in agricultural livelihood.

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Women and Water (Shwe Wutt Hmon)
Women and Water (Shwe Wutt Hmon)

I found out that most of the people who come to and carry the water from the well are women when I visited to a village in dry zone. But when we interviewed about the water shortage problem in the village, all the people we met and those who are taking lead and responsibility for the issue is all men. This might be a long lasting question in our development arena. Are we listening to the voices of women and how?

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Working Mother (Shwe Wutt Hmon)
Working Mother (Shwe Wutt Hmon)

I took this photo nearby Mindat township in Chin State. This lady is a Chin woman and she can hardly speak the Burmese with me. While I was meeting with her and taking the picture, one thought popped up in my mind. What does and doesn’t development bring to the people and women from the least developed regions in the country? It was really interesting for me seeing she is wearing a new watch but still using very traditional things and methods in their daily living.

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Barbed Wire (Dustin Barter)
Barbed Wire (Dustin Barter)

For me this photo captures the paradox of IDP camps in Kachin, where they provide security for displaced people, yet relatively trapped inside, life is far from normal. Concurrently, I feel it represents IDPs’ resistance to the situation and desire to push back. It didn’t necessarily make me think differently about development, but reinforces that we all need to push back against boundaries.

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IDP Room (Dustin Barter)
IDP Room (Dustin Barter)

The starkness of the photo represents the bleak situation for IDPs living in camps; rooms are tiny with scant personal items. It really pushes home the point that living in a camp is often so barren and constrained, yet outside the photo people are active and inspiring. As always, it’s challenging to reconcile with the stark reality of uninspiring global materialistic nihilism outside the camps...

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Mother and Child (Dustin Barter)
Mother and Child (Dustin Barter)

Displaced by the conflict in Kachin, the mother and child in this photo portray a beautiful intimacy despite the situation. For me, it gives a sense of optimism that despite war, their bond remains strong, but its impossible to sugarcoat the reality that many of these bonds are broken in Kachin and the situation is increasingly dire. The photo reinvigorated my desire to capture more documentary style photography, which is often missing in NGO photography.

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Soap Business (Dustin Barter)
Soap Business (Dustin Barter)

For me, this photo is just about getting on with it. Displaced for five years, Nhkum Kai Tang recently setup a now thriving soap business. Focused andmotivated, meeting people like Kai Tang continually motivates me – despite a challenging situation, they just get things done – the glue holding everything together.

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Water Donation (Ye Yint)
Water Donation (Ye Yint)

"In Myanmar, you can find vessels of water on every roadside especially in rural area of Myanmar. This photo was taken in Shan State. These children were playing around the roads and when they were thirsty, they came to drink. At that time, the question comes out in my mind that why don’t the aid organisations consider these vessels outside of the house?"

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Future leader (Ye Yint)
Future leader (Ye Yint)

"He is the reason why his mother works hard".

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