‘Long March’ exhibit cut short by nervy venue owner

YANGON

A photo exhibition chronicling recent student uprisings in Myanmar was brought to an abrupt end last Sunday after a request by the condominium owner, according to its organisers.

“Documenting Burma’s Long March”, originally planned to be on view from April 25 to 27 at Think Art Gallery in Dagon Township, came to a premature end on the second day at the request of the owner of the condominium that houses the gallery. The photo exhibition was on view from 10 am to 5 pm, but it closed at 8pm on the last day. 

“The condo owner didn’t want to get into trouble with the authorities. He didn’t know about the exhibition. He didn’t come to us because he knew about the exhibition. He only saw the exhibition when he was here recently. He told us to immediately shut it down, but I requested to wait until the end of the day,” said J Paing, a photo journalist from the Irrawaddy news agency.

Police officers turned up at the gallery on Saturday and ordered the organisers to remove two photos, according to photojournalist Sai Zaw Thaik. 

On display were 37 photos by Paing, Sai Zaw Thaik, Thaw Hein Htet, and Tayza Hlaing from the Irrawaddy news agency and La Min Tun from the People’s Age journal.

According to J Paing, the photojournalists plan to stage their exhibition in other regions on request.