Recently I photographed the 2nd National Debate Tournament in Myanmar for OSF/IDEA, an international NGO which aim is to promote democracy and discussion among disadvantaged youth. Here is a selection of images from the tournament.
I don’t want to pass any judgment on the political/economic change in Myanmar and on wether the life of ordinary Burmese is really improving during this chapter of the country’s history (you can find some great insight on what is happening in Myanmar in Nic Dunlop’s new book, ‘Brave new Burma’). Nonetheless it was quite startling to see how engaged, interested, and thrilled these young people were to be able to openly discuss and trade opinions on topics that were taboo until not long ago. At least the mood seems to more positive and less bleak and fearful, but only time will tell wether real, meaningful change is taking place alongside.