Yangon Echoes, Inside heritage homes

Yangon Echoes, Inside heritage homes

by Virginia Henderson & Tim Webster

Yangon Echoes welcomes readers behind the facades of heritage buildings in the city formerly known as Rangoon, to explore the human experiences of these old places. A richly illustrated anthology of fifty-six oral histories, this work explores notions and values of heritage and home.

An innovative approach to heritage documentation brings together tangible and intangible heritage, carefully edited and crafted oral testimonies and poetic environmental portraiture. The result is immediately accessible, enticing readers to delve further into the rich life stories and gather a wider understanding of the heritage issues in Myanmar today.

A popular history of buildings, Yangon Echoes charts social space and urban folklore, linking past to present via living memories. The intimate, domestic stage is used to explore wider social, cultural and political dimensions. Folkloric in nature and reflective of Yangon’s rich cosmopolitan population, these tales told by local residents reveal diverse perspectives, values and experiences.

Languishing under half a century of military dictatorship, Myanmar (Burma) ‘opened’ to the world in 2012.  Storytellers speak of joy and tragedy, simple pleasures and aching issues. They share thoughts and feelings of living through Yangon’s emergence from decades of stagnation to engagement with a rapidly spinning world. Told with courage and charm, these informal stories of home offer insight into what has happened and is happening to the city. The issues and pressures on Yangon’s people and its heritage today are revealed.

An independent self-funded project, the book was completed over two years. Yangon Echoes is published by River Books (Bangkok & London) and available from chris@riverbookslondon.com

The Yangon Echoes exhibition on show at the East West Centre in Honolulu, Hawai’i during 29 January to 21 May 2017 follows a successful book launch tour of Europe and the UK during 2016.

Virginia and Tim are currently researching a social life of teak.

Would you like to get in touch with Virginia and/or Tim?
Please send an e-mail to ginh@loxinfo.co.th

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