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Yangon of the Day celebrates anniversary with photo exhibit

By : The Myanmar Times | Published: 2016-December-13

[InKunming--Sister Cities] If one picture is worth a thousand words, then the dozens of pictures lining the walls at Nawaday Tharlar Gallery tell a comprehensive history.

Yangon of the Day features unusual and unseen photos from around the city. Photo: Aung Myin Yezaw / The Myanmar TimesYangon of the Day features unusual and unseen photos from around the city. Photo: Aung Myin Yezaw / The Myanmar Times

Celebrating the first anniversary of Yangon of the Day on December 10, the Dagon township gallery exhibited a diverse selection of 290 photos by over 200 photographers – even one of a Burmese style squatty-potty – to share the very best of the project’s photos with a wider audience.

Founded by Yangon local Min Htet and Belgian Alexandra Vanderschelden in October 2015, Yangon of the Day initially started out as an online platform for photographers – both professionals and amateurs with smart phones– to share their stories about the city.

Using the hashtag #YangonoftheDay, photographers are able to upload and share their photos online and the team will gather the best choices to feature on their social media pages.

“Yangon of the Day aims to reveal the many facets of this fascinating city and empower residents to share the reality of their Yangon through our Instagram and Facebook pages,” said Vanderschelden.

The photos at Nawaday Tharlar Gallery were all for sale, though there wasn’t a fixed price; a suggested donation of K10,000 was recommended to contribute to the costs of the exhibition in addition to raising funds for Trash Hero, a waste collection organisation based in Yangon.

Curating the event took weeks as it was difficult to choose a diverse array of photos. In total, the Yangon of the Day Instagram has amassed over 400 photos and the #YangonoftheDay hashtag has been shared over 4,000 times.

“We really tried to stay away from photos that show key tourist destinations, photos that everybody has already seen. For example, photos of Shwedagon Pagoda or Yangon’s City Hall,” said Min Htet. “We also tried very hard not to pick photos with the same subject.”

To advertise for the exhibit and gain permission from the photographers, the two founders posted on social media a few weeks before the debut.

“A lot of photographers came to the event,” he said. “It was really nice to finally see them face to face. Before we only knew people from Instagram and Facebook.”

Over 200 of the 290 photos on display were purchased by visitors, demonstrating that Yangon of the day isn’t just social media; it’s a medium which allows ordinary citizens, no matter their skill or resources, to have a stake in shifting the common perspectives on Yangon.

“I think it’s a good thing,” said Min Htet. “I’m glad many people came to our show and supported our project because we never publicized our page before. It’s nice to finally do something for our community.”

After the success of the first exhibition, the Yangon of the Day team plans to host yearly exhibitions to raise awareness for their project as well as other community-based organisations.

To submit your photo to Yangon of the Day, check out their Facebook or Instagram page for more details.

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