The Irrawaddy
RANGOON — The Yangon Heritage Trust (YHT) is showcasing a collection of more than 120 photos that help tell the story of Rangoon’s cosmopolitan past and rapidly changing present. The exhibition, “Global City: Yangon’s Past, Present and Future,” offers rare and unusual photos providing historical context, anecdotes, documentation of high-profile events and links between Burma’s former capital and the wider world. The exhibit is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm through March 2015 at the YHT office on Pansodan Street’s lower block. “The objectives of the exhibition are to raise awareness and enhance the understanding of both local residents and international visitors of the unique nature of the urban heritage of Yangon and its importance as a significant part of Myanmar’s history,” said a press release from YHT last week. [irrawaddy_gallery] Among the notable moments captured on film are a picture of the politician and eventual US President Richard Nixon, sporting a longyi and the traditional Burmese headdress known as gaun baung, sitting beside Burma’s then President U Nu; an aerial image of a section of the Rangoon riverbank, taken shortly after it was decimated by airstrikes during World War II; and the chaotic scene in downtown Rangoon after a powerful earthquake rocked the capital in the 1930s. And as for the future of the city? The exhibition also features a large conceptual rendering of the Rangoon riverfront—currently the site of little other than the country’s largest port and other shipping infrastructure—envisions neatly trimmed green terraces and walking paths, with a shimmering, distant pocket of high-rise office towers trumped in skyline prominence only by the Shwedagon Pagoda.

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