With the military junta finally loosening it’s grip on the country and Aung San Suu Kyi saying that independent travel would now benefit the country, photographer and 36exp tutor, Andrew Mason visited Burma in February 2012.
The first of several mysteries is what to call the place. Myanmar is a relatively recent change of name for the country, but the UK, several other nations, and the National League for Democracy never recognised this and still call it Burma. Only pristine dollars printed after 2009 are accepted, a single crease or mark renders the note useless, there is no way to withdraw money, no credit cards, the cars are left hand drive but they drive on the left, motor bikes and scooters are banned in the capital, men wear skirts, cats jump through hoops…
The locals seem really keen to meet outsiders, and glad the isolation is ending as their country slowly opens up. Years of sanctions make Burma seem like the land that time forgot, which makes it fascinating to visit, but makes one hope that it soon changes and modernises for the benefit of its people.
An exhibition of photography from this trip is being shown at Gallery 1885, 16 Bowden Street, London SE11 4DS from 15 October until 9 November.
More of Andrew’s work can be seen at www.andrew-mason.com
Enquiries regarding the exhibition can be made through the contact page of this site.