Mingalar Taung Nyunt, the dignity’s shanties Daily life in one of the poorest slums in Yangon, Myanmar
The high level of contamination is extremely dangerous for human health.
A few minutes walking away from Traders Hotel, one of the most expensive and fancy hotels in Myanmar, the old Burma, just 500 meters away from Jade Market and connected with the Central Railway Station of Yangon, where luxury buses are carrying the rich tourism who buys precious stones, exist an underground world in the heart of Mingalar Taung Nyunt, in the east-center of economic capital of Myanmar. The country has held the first democratic election the last november, after 40 years of military goverment.
The small muslim slum, struggles for surviving in subhuman conditions, where you can breathe a dense normality, despite the buddhism mantras in big speakers that they have to hear sometimes all day along. Daily life in the slum is frenetic, from day to nigh time like in any other neighborhood the shops and local commerces open their doors, they have everything in the area, hairdressers, pubs,restaurants, local shops, tailors, even gaming bets.
However, their commodities are zero, extremely difficult for surviving, without baths or running water in almost any shanty, with the electrical wiring in the outside exposed to children. Despite they try to keep a daily personal hygiene, they live in a full of garbage environment and pollute water where life is basically unbearable. Without any stable structures, weak enough for a strong wind, in raining season they tend to flood. I call that, living in the edge.
But the biggest surprise always comes joined to humanity gestures, and the human quality of the people in the slum is well above against other luxury districts in more rich cities. They would be armed with a big smile back, extremely kindness, quickly the connection between the camera, the people and me. Soon I was into a tiny streets laberinth where only was space for one person at the time. I could see and sometimes shared their homes and a really small fragment of their life in bamboo’s houses too cramped, like a big loving family.
From families who invited me to have dinner or breakfast with them, my stomach couldn’t take it, to children following my steps and showing me paths of going and return about life.
I let myself go, with my camera and just only one lens, I was introducing myself in their lives and they into mine to offer me this selection of moments in their daily life.