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Collaboration with Myanmar Photo Archive©Goethe-Institut Myanmar

Myanmar Photo Archive

The Myanmar Photo Archive and Goethe-Institut Myanmar are pleased to announce a collaboration created to extend, enforce, and build a broader understanding of Myanmar's visual history. In the next two years, Myanmar Photo Archive and the Goethe-Institut Myanmar will give grants to artists, writers, and academics to interpret the vast collection of archival materials. The project will also work on incubators, exhibitions, and digitization stations to give meaning to personal imagery.

The Myanmar Photo Archive started its collection in 2013. It is a physical archive of photographic materials from Myanmar. The archive aimed from the start to create a comprehensive record of photographic materials and culture. Additionally, it intended to provide a historical context to the materials within the archive. The earliest images are from 1890 and range until the present decade, and more than 30.000 images and negatives have been currently preserved. The production of the widely popular book "Burmese Photographers", with an accompanying exhibition, was supported by Goethe-Institut Myanmar in 2018. Over the years, Myanmar Photo Archive has published six books with narratives from the archive. The books were locally produced and distributed in Myanmar and internationally, with award nominations at festivals and competitions. Myanmar Photo Archive also hosted book-making workshops with the Goethe-Institut Myanmar in Yangon.

We are back and active after a hiatus due to the pandemic and recent local events. The Goethe-Institut Myanmar has generously reinforced the Myanmar Photo Archive to build a richer visual archive of Myanmar's history with a special grant for a long-term project. The collaboration of Goethe-Institute Myanmar and Myanmar Photo Archive focuses on processing and expanding visual materials with various communities in cooperation with national and international artists, writers, and academics interested in cultural-historical contexts and appropriation of the archive material. 

The collaboration between the Goethe-Institut Myanmar and the Myanmar Photo Archive is rooted in the intention to create access to materials for civil society, expanding discourse and attention internationally to alternative narratives about Myanmar. To these goals, the establishment of incubators, digitalization of archival holdings, alternative publishing, and exhibitions of newly creative artworks will be accomplished in the future. These activities will take place in Myanmar, accompanied by an international publication program to bring awareness to Myanmar's rich history abroad. 

Myanmar Photo Archive Website
Free Digitization Training Program ©Goethe-Institut Myanmar

Free Digitization Training Program

Join our free digitization weekend program and unlock the power of preserving history digitally.
The Myanmar Photo Archive and Goethe-Institut Myanmar are excited to announce a special opportunity for 20 individuals to participate in a free comprehensive two-day online digitization training program. During this workshop, you will learn about historic photographs and materials with guidance from the Myanmar Photo Archive team. Throughout the workshop, you will gain invaluable insights into preserving physical prints, negatives, and various archive materials, mastering the art of scanning and digitizing them with ease. Whether you are using a smartphone or a computer, you will learn essential techniques for enhancing and preserving these precious images. 

Rethink Recap © Goethe-Institut Myanmar

Rethink Art Exhibition

The Myanmar Photo Archive's Rethink Art Exhibition at the Goethe-Institut Myanmar Auditorium, which ran successfully from January 15th to 30th, marked a significant milestone for us. This exhibition showcased various artworks created through an Open Call, inviting artists to reinterpret the photographic materials from the archive.
The showcased pieces included paintings, collage series, photo series, short films, and written works presented in a unique newspaper format. To enhance the experience, special talk events were held every Saturday, where Authors Min Chit Paing and Nyan Yel Yint Win, who took part in the Open Call, made a reading section of their works. Special guests like Save Myanmar Film and Frederick Lee (Taiki) shared valuable knowledge on preserving old Myanmar films and film photography.
A Digitization station was set up throughout the two weeks, offering free digitization services for old photos and photographic materials. The response was heartening, with approximately 40 daily visitors to the Myanmar Photo Archive's Rethink exhibition. The special talk show drew over 100 attendees, and nearly 300 people celebrated the exhibition at the opening ceremony.
We extend our sincere gratitude to everyone who attended and supported the exhibition. Your presence and enthusiasm made this event a truly memorable and successful endeavour.

Incubator Program ©Goethe-Institut Myanmar

Myanmar Photo Archive
Incubator Program

Exciting news from the Myanmar Photo Archive and Goethe Institute! We're thrilled to announce our upcoming Incubator program for visual artists, gallery owners, curators, and representatives from various art organizations in Myanmar.

This program is the first series across different parts of Myanmar. Our primary objective within this incubator program is to collectively brainstorm and explore the potential for exhibitions, publications, online platforms, and social media presentations of artworks so that they are beneficial for the artists and also feasible for the people.

The concept for this incubator program was conceived following a successful grant program we orchestrated, granting an opportunity to 45 writers and visual artists to reimagine Myanmar's visual history.

Stay tuned for further updates and insights.

Meet the MPA ©Goethe-Institut Myanmar

Wrap up
Meet the MPA

Last Saturday night, MPA made a comeback after three years, thanks to the amazing support from Goethe-Institut Myanmar. At "Meet the Myanmar Photo Archive," we delved into our past, present, and future activities, showcasing incredible artworks from our Open Call program. 

With around 90 attendees, the event was buzzing with discussion around MPA’s archival materials and previously produced books. Thanks to everyone who joined us; your support means the world to the Myanmar Photo Archive!

MPA OPEN CALL ©Goethe-Institut/ Myanmar Photo Archive

Reinterpret Myanmar’s History

The Goethe-Institut Myanmar and the Myanmar Photo Archive invite you to participate in our commissioned program 2023. We are giving out 45 grants for creatives to reinterpret the images of the Myanmar Photo Archive. The archive holds the largest image source of independent Myanmar, with vernacular photography from around the country. The open call starts on 30th May 2023 to 30th June 2023. For additional information, please click the link. 

Grant Awardee Announcement

  • Burmese Photographers ©Goethe-Institut Myanmar
    Burmese Photographers
  • Exhibitions & Workshops ©Goethe-Institut Myanmar
    Exhibitions & Workshops
  • More to come ©Goethe-Institut Myanmar
    More to come