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October 18, 2018

Mandalay, MYANMAR – Twenty-one youth from across Myanmar, representing all seven major ethnic groups, participated in National Geographic Photo Camp Myanmar August 26- 31, 2018 in Mandalay, with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The photo camp is a partnership between the National Geographic Society and Internews. National Geographic Photo Camp is a program that teaches young people from underserved communities, including at-risk and refugee teens, how to use photography to tell their own stories, explore the world around them, and develop deep connections with others. The photo exhibition showcases a selection of 70 photos that the students took over a week- long Photo Camp to capture diverse culture and people in Mandalay.

“These images tell an important story about diversity from the perspective of young people from all over Myanmar,” USAID Mission Director Teresa McGhie said at the exhibit opening at the Jefferson Center Mandalay today. “This photo camp is part of ongoing U.S. efforts to support increased peace and democracy in Myanmar,” she added.

World-class National Geographic photographers and editors Matt Moyer, John Brack, Jessica Efadl and William Daniels provided students with a personalized, immersive learning experience during the five-day photo camp.

For the participants, the Photo Camp has been both an opportunity to learn photography and also a rare chance to work together in an ethnically and culturally diverse group of aspiring photojournalists from different corners of Myanmar. Their work reveals the daily lived experience of diversity in Mandalay through photography and, for many, this profundly affected the way they understand harmony among different communities. Ar Kar, a Rakhine Buddhist participant, said “I am Rakhine and I decided to take photos of a Muslim fisherman and his son who worked near U Bein Bridge because I wanted to understand their lives. At first, we did not know each other and after a few days of photo shooting, they invited me to visit their village and I had a chance to personally observe their way of lives. Now we are good friends.”

The Photo Camp was the first for Myanmar, and more than 400 youth photo enthusiasts applied to join. The 21 selected participants, who represented Kachin, Kayin, Kayah, Chin, Shan, Mon, Rakhine and Bamar ethnic groups, took more than forty thousand photos during the Photo Camp. Internews and National Geographic have collaboratively organized similar photo camps in a number of countries including Moldova and South Sudan.

The students’ photographs have been featured at American Center Yangon (September 21-30) and Pansuriya Gallery in Yangon (October 5-15). The third and final exhibition has just opened at Jefferson Center Mandalay, where it will be open to the public until October 29.

For more information please contact:
Michael Pan, Internews Country Director at
Hal Lipper, USAID Communications Officer at


[Burmese Translation]