Photographer's Note

I didn’t want photos of stunning pagodas to conclude my series of posts from Myanmar, for I believe it’s the Burmese people that deserve the last mention. Also, I didn’t want all that gold to overshadow the painful realisation that life is really hard in that corner of the world.

It was the people I went there for. Some of you may remember that I timed my trip with the landmark elections 2015. I was lucky to witness the enthusiasm and the Myanmar people to start opening and sharing their hopes with total strangers like me. On the sweaty night of 8th November I was among the crown outside the National League for Democracy headquarters.

During my travels around Burma I also witnessed hopeless poverty, many faces of hardship and all sorts of tricks people have to use to earn a few dollars. Democracy or not, that is unlikely to change any time soon.

This really is one of the last images I took in Burma. I spotted this girl in a window of a residential block on the way back from Shwedagon.

Soon after I was back in my budget hotel, same one I stayed in on 8th November (conveniently close to Shwedagon and the NLD office). I had breakfast in the fly-blown lobby with periodically-working aircon and while I was having a cold egg and burned (that was my fault, self-service!) toast for breakfast the only thing I could think of was “I don’t want to go back to Europe”. But I do realise it’s an easy sentiment to have with a credit card, the latest camera equipent and an EU passport in your bag. I loved it there but I could leave whenever I wanted. And above all, I had money. No matter how much we get to see and understand we don’t really get to share the burden of the local people. Not as a life sentence.

In WS two more photos taken that last morning in Yangon.

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Additional Photos by Kasia Nowak (kasianowak) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1378 W: 6 N: 2527] (14291)
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