Although a great number of Yangon heritage buildings have been torn down in recent months and the skyline is filled with cranes hovering over new high rise hotels and offices, the Yangon Heritage Trust and documentarians like Virginia Henderson and Tim Webster are rushing to collaborate with locals to preserve heritage buildings and record the stories of some of their occupants.
Increased fears over the past few years that developers would rush through controversial demolitions before the new Aung San Suu Kyi-led government took power (April 1, 2016) have been realised. Myanmar’s main city is now in the midst of a construction boom, sparked by economic and political reforms under the quasi-civilian government led by former junta generals that took power in 2011.
Virginia Henderson has collaborated with Yangon residents and photographer Tim Webster to create a wonderful new book documenting heritage homes with unique narratives by some of the occupants. The book expresses the joy, tragedy and feelings of those who are emerging from decades of stagnation into a rapidly changing city and booming real estate market. Stories of home, history, identity and place are told with honesty and courage.