Development affects the colonial architecture of an old city in Southeast Asia altering the city's infrastructure. The city is being rebuilt and is in need of cultural preservation.
This photo essay highlights domestic living spaces within colonial-era buildings in Yangon, Myanmar. Downtown Yangon, with a population of over 4 million, is known for its colonial buildings—the city has the highest number of colonial buildings in Southeast Asia. Under British rule in the 1920's and 30s, Rangoon, now known as Yangon, was the second busiest immigration port in the world and was a thriving, cosmopolitan city. In 1962, a repressive military junta seized control of the city, and in a single century, Myanmar went from being the wealthiest country in Southeast Asia to one of the poorest. Due to a change in political leadership in 2011, property rights are precarious, people are losing their homes, and buildings are slated for demolition to clear the way for new development. Citywide inspections have declared buildings over sixty years old dangerous and unfit for habitation.
In this photo essay, the use of "still life" photos capture the living quarters inside the abandoned colonial buildings. A still life is a work of art mostly depicting inanimate objects, both natural and man-made. Traditionally, still lifes were depicted in paintings, such as a bowl of fruit, like Monet's Still-Life with Apples and Grapes. The definition and nature of a still life has changed over time due to the influence of digital art to include other mediums like photography.
Connections to National Standards
Common Core English Language Arts. SL.9-10.1 and SL.11-12.1. Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 [or 11-12] topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies Standards. D2.Geo.6.9-12. Evaluate the impact of human settlement activities on the environmental and cultural characteristics of specific places and regions.
Next Generation Science Standards. HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.