Asia’s Largest Photo and Advocacy event opens 19 February

The Yangon Photo Festival, founded together by the French Embassy and the French journalist Christophe LOVINY, features its 12th edition with free exhibitions, screenings and parties across eight locations: French Institute, Mahabandoola Park, Goethe Institut, Yangon Central Railway Station, Rosewood Hotel, Dala ferries, Junction City, Myanmar Deitta and Ala Thit Art Gallery. This edition is the largest since its creation and is expected to reach up to 300 000 people.

The festival brings together over 200 photo documentaries raising awareness on some of the world’s most pressing issues: environmental threats, peace building and social justice.

The works of famous international photographers including Pascal Maître, Steve McCurry, Franck Seguin, and Fausto Podavini will be showcased alongside the projects of some of Myanmar’s most celebrated photographers, Hkun Lat, Hkun Li and Ko Myo and up-and-coming talents from the ethnic States and regions where YPF organises intensive visual story-telling trainings.

Christophe Loviny, Founder and Artistic Director of Yangon Photo Festival, said: “In the last 12 years, we have trained more than a thousand young men and women from all background, religions, and ethnicities to produce short documentaries about the most important social and environmental issues affecting their lives.”

Loviny said media literacy is critical particularly in societies threatened by the impact of hate speech and fake news. “The most efficient counter-attacks against the propagators of hate speech and fake news are real stories strong enough to reach an audience as large as the haters,” he added. “Visit our e-magazine Myanmar Stories on Facebook. In two years, it has become one of the most popular in the country, with an average of 140,000 viewers per video, sometimes even more than 1 million!”

For its 12th edition, the festival will open at Goethe Institut on 19th February with a photobook exhibit, a series of shows and party. It will also set up a Photo Village on Mahabandoola Park on the week-end of 22-23 February, with exceptional documentaries on a giant LED screen, exhibitions including the World Press Photo and a photo studio. It culminated on 23th at French Institute with the competition for best Photo-story of the Year in front of a jury of national and international personalities.

“Every year, YPF is a unique experience to meet photographers from all over Myanmar and the whole world, make new friends and exchange about important issues in a party atmosphere,” Loviny said.

The series of events are mostly supported by the Embassy of France, the Netherlands and Switzerland; the European Union Delegation; the ILO; the French Institute; the Goethe Institut; and Rosewood Hotel.

Other strategic partners include Canon, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, GIZ, Junction City, the Embassy of Canada, UNHCR, RICE Communications, Xenon, World Press Photo Foundation, Agence France Presse, Lucie Foundation, Myanmar Photo Archive, Kesan, Myanmar Deitta, Gulliver travel, and Wallonie-Brussels international.

Since the first edition in 2009, the French Institute has been proud to support the YPF, the first international festival created in Myanmar. The Photo Night always attracts a vast crowd, moved by the stories that are screened. The exhibitions hosted at the French Institute are again remarkable this year and will make the audience travel through the amazing cultural life in the Kinshasa, the capital of DRC, and Kashan in Iran.

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