Photo Story for the Special Initiative “Living the Coup: Collective Diary of Daily Life in Myanmar” by SEA Junction and Partners.
I live with my sister’s family who runs her own business in Yangon. It was a successful business and made profits to be able to do another business. The shop is open till 9 pm at night even amidst COVID-19 since the peak hour for her shop starts after 5 pm. However, it becomes upside down after the coup. The shop has to close early because of security concerns which normally happen in the dark.
My niece, who used to sleep under the air conditioning, got sleepless nights after the military coup in 2021–2022. She was born in 2019, when there was barely any electricity cut. I told her this is just the beginning and it will worsen in the future.
After the coup, switching off LNG stations and canceling solar projects approved by NLD government make occasional blackouts and prolonged power cuts. Skyrocketing fuel prices and prolonged power shortages hit all classes of people in Myanmar hard.
My family like to eat warm foods so we cook our meals just before we eat since we were not worried about power cuts. After the coup, the situation forces us to buy a charcoal stove and spent 2 or 3 hours for cooking the meal. We could not go shopping after 6 pm due to the fact that no proper light is in the SHOPS and STREETS.
Charcoal stoves, candles, and rooms with fans and hand-made fans are coming again into our life. I feel like our life is returning to the time before 2010 when the power cut happened quite often.
Please see all the photos I took in August 2022 in Yangon to show how we are passing through with intermittent electricity.
I hope the selection of photos provides a glimpse of how we, Myanmar people, are experiencing the impact of the military coup in Myanmar and finding the strength in our own ways to illustrate individual and community resilience.
Note: When I took photos, I tried to avoid to include faces or recognized information since everyone is not safe living here (Myanmar).
“Living the Coup: Collective Diary of Daily Life in Myanmar” is a special initiative of SEA Junction in collaboration with Asia Justice Rights (AJAR) to document how people are living in present-day Myanmar and their coping with daily security, economic and health challenges. We are asking for short stories in the form of written, photo essays or art illustration, in Burmese Language (to be later translated into English) or in English. For more background and other stories click here.
SEA Junction, established under the Thai non-profit organization Foundation for Southeast Asia Studies (ForSEA), aims to foster understanding and appreciation of Southeast Asia in all its socio-cultural dimensions- from arts and lifestyles to economy and development. Conveniently located at Room 408 of the Bangkok Arts and Culture Center or BACC (across MBK, BTS National Stadium), SEA Junction facilitates public access to knowledge resources and exchanges among students, practitioners and Southeast Asia lovers. For more information see www.seajunction.org, join the Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/1693058870976440/ and follow us on twitter and Instagram @seajunction
Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR)
AJAR is a non-profit organization, based in Jakarta, Indonesia, whose aim is to contribute to the strengthening of human rights and the alleviation of entrenched impunity in the Asia-Pacific region. Its work focuses on countries involved in transition from a context of mass human rights violations to democracy, where it strives to build cultures based on accountability, justice and a willingness to learn from the root causes of human rights violations to help prevent the recurrence of state-sanctioned human rights violations. For more information, see https://asia-ajar.org.