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From Burma to Myanmar – Portrait of a country in transition

In many ways little has changed in Burma since 1948 when the country first declared independence from Britain, ending 60 years of colonial rule.  A military dictatorship has been in power for most of the time since then, resulting in a crippled economy, world concern over human rights abuses and isolation from the rest of the world.  Burma, once the richest country in Southeast Asia, has become one of the poorest nations in the world.  In 1989 the military junta changed the name of the country from Burma to Myanmar in an effort to cut ties with the colonial past.

Over the past few years a general election, the release of more than 200 political prisoners including opposition group leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and an improved human rights record have paved the way for more diplomatic relations with the rest of the world.  Burma today offers contrasting views of traditional ways and modernization.  After 50 years of isolation, with newly lifted sanctions, new opportunities and new relationships, Myanmar is opening its doors to the rest of the world.

Images for this exhibition were made during a two-week trip led by Foothill College Photography Professor Ron Herman.  This trip included visits to many parts of the country including Yangon, Mandalay, the ancient city of Bagan and Inle Lake.  These photographers, many of whom are associated with Foothill College, captured images of a country exiting a troubled past and entering a new era of reform and openness.

Photographers: Katherine Bazak, Cathy Cakebread, Barbara Buchholz Collins, Michael Collins, Harlan Crowder, Lorraine Crowder, Evelyn D’Alessandro, Lisa D’Alessandro, Ann Eddington, Karen Hensman, Ron Herman, Bob Mazawa, Melinda Miller, Susan Neville, Sandy O’Gorman, Don Wheatley and Kate Winn-Rogers.


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