A rusty bridge spans a muddy river at the end of a short road in Yangon, Myanmar. It is open only to foot traffic, yet serves as the gateway to a community of laborers and their families.
Should the demand for gravel cease, or the river bottom become devoid of small rocks, the people would almost certainly fade from this riverbank. Yet, strangely, traces of their lives would persist in the millions of grains of sand used to create cement – cement that will support the cities expansion as it opens to Western culture.
Cities have always been built on the backs of the forgotten. They afford us opportunity, by having none themselves. The necessity of their work at least requires our acknowledgement, and at most, our unwavering gratitude.
Myanmar has the potential to be one of the richest economic countries in Southeast Asia in terms of economic prospects. Decades of corruption and poor economic planning by the former military junta has left it struggling to catch up to its neighbors. It's future is uncertain.
If I’m forced to pick one representation that draws me to being a photojournalist, that dictates my work, it’s the search, the journey, and the quest for internal and external development. To be more specific, I look through the frame to find my own humanity as much as the humanity of any given situation. Too often personal growth is abandoned for the next rung on the career ladder; personal vision is replaced by an unawareness of surroundings. We loose respect for our true selves and then for others. The photographic image is a way inward to myself, the path to those who want or need their stories told, and a bridge to those who are willing to accept the state of the world and ready to be the change.
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