“Yangon, A City to Rescue”
1st edition of a photo coffee table book
The book is now available
Yangon (Rangoon) in Myanmar is the last intact city in Asia.
Jacques Maudy and Jimi Casaccia are independent photo reporters interested in documenting changing societies and how it impacts on people’s lives.
Myanmar is undergoing massive political changes. The President Thein Sein was a general of the ruling Junta. Since his election in March 2010 he has quit the army and resolutely steered the country towards democracy. He freed Aung San Suu Kyi from her 15 years house arrest, ended the 20 years wars with the tribes including the Karen with the exception of the Kachin in the North and organised fair limited elections that saw the NLD, the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, take 43 seats in the Parliament. General elections are planned for 2015. Since our visit, the censorship on the media has been lifted – the Censorship Office was made reduntant, most political prisoners have nbeen freed, an general amnesty has been extended to the 145.000 Burmese refugees (they are Burmeses, Karen, Mon M, Kachin, etc…) who are still stranded in 11 refugee camps in Thailand and Barak Obama has visited Burma.
There are many challenges ahead of President Thein Sein and his team of reformers: The Rohingya citizenship issue and the interethnic violence in Arakhan, the control of the actions of the Myanmar Army forces in the Kachin State – they don’t seem ton obey the orders of the President, the amendment of the constitution so all members of Parliament are elected as it should be in a true democratic State, the rapatriation if the 145.000 refugees from the Thai camps, and the development of a transparent and balanced economy that benefits it’s people.
The lift of the embargo will hopefully and quickly improve people’s incomes but will also see the developers rush in. Defining heritage zones and enacting legislation to protect the architectural heritage is a matter of urgency. The Yangon Heritage Trust, founded by Mr Thant Myint U and other Myanmar concerned leading citizens has undertaken this task.
At the invitation of U Sonny Thein, Jacques and Jimi volunteered to document Yangon heritage buildings for the Yangon Heritage Trust. The YHT held an exhibition in Yangon on the 1st of June 2012 for the Yangon Heritage Trust first international conference. The immediate outcome of the conference was the decision by the Myanmar government to cancel 20 building permits with immediate effect. This resulted in saving as many historical buildings. The government pledged that no further permits would be issued until the recommendations of the YHT are finalised.
The book “Yangon, a City to Rescue” aims to bring to the public attention the positive changes affecting the people of Myanmar and the absolute necessity to protect the environment in which they live. The move to democracy will radically change their daily life and the lift of the embargo on Myanmar will increase the general wellbeing of the Burmese population.
Description: 40 to 50 pages, landscape 20 x 30 cm, hard cover.
The book will include photos from the heritage buildings of Yangon including some first time exclusive images of the “Secretariat”, street life images and portraits.
Scroll to see selected images
Shwe Dagon Paya