Culture  Capturing life in photographs: 9th Yangon Photo Festival
03/03/201700:00 TV5MONDE

“These days, everyone has a camera in their pocket... we don’t have to focus on the technology, so we can concentrate on the thinking, on storytelling and methods.”
 
Christophe Loviny, photographer
Burma’s Hopeful Pictures by Ron Gluckman, The Wall Street Journal, March 3-5, 2017
 
It is exactly this type of spirit and the focus on teaching the art of capturing life in images which have given life to the Yangon Photo Festival, an amalgamation of powerful photo-stories which document Myanmar’s diverse social, cultural and environmental issues.
 

Mr. Loviny is a longtime photographer based in Asia and one of the key players in organising the Yangong Photo Festival, an event which has become one of the main international highlights and focus in the country Under the patronage of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Since the event’s creation, the organising team has brought together both renowned and amateur photographers from abroad and from within Myanmar. YPF has trained over 500 visual journalists and documentary photographers from all regions and ethnic origins. 
 
This year, for the first time, a selection of the best works of photo journalism will be screened on March 4th and 5th in the heart of Yangon, in Maha Bandoola Park. Other than the screening, from the 3rd until the 19th of March, the World Press Photo Exhibition and a number of other outstanding exhibitions and workshops will be open to the public at Maha Bandoola Park and at the Institute Français de Birmanie.
 
 
The exhibitions cover a wide range of subjects and subject matters. Different ethnicities, careers and settings are shown. Among the distinguished list of renowned photographers, works from Steve McCurry, Hans Silvester, pioneers like Günter Pfannmüller and Wilhelm Klein (the first photojournalists allowed into the country in 1980) will be shown.

Of course, one must not miss the authentic and highly creative, artistic works from the local visual journalists and photographers. Participants can expect to gain an in-depth knowledge and new understanding of Myanmar, a country which remained largely obscure to many a conventional traveler, who might be more familiar with other touristic hotspots in the region (such as the country’s southern neighbour, Thailand).

 
 
The festival will culminate on March 11 at the French Institute with its Photo Night and the opening of Dominique Nahr’s exhibition South Sudan: Fractured State. The Myanmar photographers will compete for best photo-stories awards in front of a jury composed of international personalities. 
 
YPF also unveils to the public an exhibition entitled Myanmar Stories, one which reveals the life of ordinary heroes whose individual dignity, courage and grace touch our hearts. These stories are produced by young photographers from all over Myanmar during the Yangon Photo Festival training programmes. Together they form a vibrant and moving portrait of one of the most diverse and fascinating countries in the world. 
 
 
Be sure to make this visual and artistic journey a part of your itinerary if you are in town! For more information and event schedules, please visit its official website.  
 
 
"It doesn't matter whether this is your first or 51st visit to Myanmar: you won't fail to notice the energy, hope and possibilities for the future that hang in the air."
Simon Richard, writer, The Lonely Planet
 
Cover photo: copyright Günter Pfannmüller
Special thanks to Yangon Photo Festival for the provision of content. See its official press release
here.

 
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