Press

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

EVENT:
FROM BURMA TO MYANMAR – Portrait of a country in transition

DATES:           
May 15 – June 21, 2014
Opening Reception:  Thursday, May 15, 7-9 p.m.

LOCATION:
KCI Gallery (lower level)
Krause Center for Innovation, Building 4000
Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

CONTACT:
Ron Herman, hermanron@foothill.edu 650-949-7082
Lori Thomas, thomaslori@foothill.edu 650-949-7258

The upcoming photography exhibit, From Burma to Myanmar: Portrait of a country in transition captures a country exiting a troubled past and entering a new era of reform and openness.  A nominally civilian government was installed in March 2011, ending fifty years of military dictatorship and opening a doorway to increased foreign relationships, investment and tourism.  Burma today offers contrasting views of traditional ways and modernization.  Seventeen Silicon Valley photographers will share their experiences with 30 photographs at the Krause Center for Innovation (KCI) Gallery, Foothill College, May 15 through June 21, 2014. An opening reception will be held on May 15, 7-9 pm.

In many ways little has changed in this country since 1948 when Burma 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 from mismanagement and foreign sanctions, 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.  Although the country is struggling toward democracy, the military continues to hold key positions in the government. 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 and align the name of the country with the Burmese language.

The United States and the European Union have been slow to recognize the new government, only lifting the economic sanctions in 2012.  An improved human rights record along with the release of opposition group leader Aung San Suu Kyi and over 200 political prisoners have paved the way for more diplomatic relations with many countries.  After 50 years of isolation, with newly lifted sanctions, new opportunities and new relationships, Myanmar has begun to open its doors to the rest of the world.

During a two-week trip led by Foothill College Photography Professor, Ron Herman, the participating photographers visited many areas including the cities of Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake. Each town offered its golden pagodas, often the cultural and spiritual center of Buddhist life.

Photographer Mike Collins said, “Myanmar enters the information age, with all the difficulties and possibilities that come with modernity.  We went there to see something of the past, and there is a sadness with losing some of the wisdom of the past, but we appreciate that the past came with rigidities and lost opportunities”.

“On my recent journey to Myanmar, I was amazed that the people were so warm and welcoming, despite the tales of political oppression,” Kate Winn-Rogers said.  “This is a country in rapid transition from a previous century to the wonders of the modern world – see it now before Westernization changes it forever.”

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.

The exhibit is located in the KCI Gallery, on the lower level of the Krause Center for Innovation, Building 4000, at Foothill College 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022. Please park in Lot 4. Parking is $3.00 (quarters or $1 bills only). Disabled parking in Lot 4-B. KCI hours of operation are Monday – Friday: 7:30am – 7:30pm; Saturday: 8:30am – 4:30pm; Closed Sundays and for Memorial Day weekend 5/24 – 5/26.

For more information on the exhibit please visit: FromBurmaToMyanmar.wordpress.com

Full resolution photos available.  Please contact:  
Ron Herman, hermanron@foothill.edu 650-949-7082.

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