Street of Broken Dreams: Art-filled alley filling up with trash

Remember that river we showed you last week that was cleared of — then all-but-immediately refilled — with garbage? The same phenomenon apparently works with streets as well.

Take this alleyway in downtown Yangon’s Kyauktada neighborhood. After members of local art collective YGN Walls and heritage restoration organization Doh Eain stopped their own personal clean-up crusade, the alley has quickly again became a dumping ground.

In an open letter posted to her Facebook page on Sunday, YGN Walls founder Delphine Delorme, expressed dismay at how the alley has become increasingly littered since the collective decided to leave its upkeep to the local community. Based on the before and after pics she included, it’s not going so well.

၄၁လမ္းႏွင့္၄၂လမ္းတြင္ေနထိုင္ေသာမိဘျပည္သူမ်ားရွင့္—-က်မတို႔ရန္ကုန္ေဝါလ္ အဖြဲ႕မွ ၄၁လမ္း…

Delphine de Lorme 发布于 2019年5月12日周日

“Sadly, it’s getting more dirty everyday… plants pulled out, trash on the floor, cigarette butts in the flowers,” Delorme said.

The alley’s initial renovation took place in July 2018, a few months before the opening of the adjacent YGN Walls-created art concept store and workshop known as Atelier.

The walls in the public space are filled with artwork painted by children from the community, with the help of artist Mark Prykaza, who hosts live drawing sessions and beginner art lessons.

The project to reclaim the alleyway is just one of seven “alley garden” projects by YGN Walls and Doh Eain, which are targeting alleyways that have fallen into disrepair.

Despite online social media movements such as the recent #Trashtag challenge, and Myanmar’s own #CleanMyanmar challenge, the country continually struggles with ever-increasing trash and limited capacity (or will) to do anything about it by Yangon city officials.

While organizations such as Doh Eain, YGN Walls, Clean Myanmar and Trash Hero Myanmar are attempting to fill the gap, but it’s increasingly apparent that their efforts will be in vain without significant support — as well as a change in mindset — from local residents.

“It’s now the duty of the residents and the community to take over the maintenance,” she continued,” Delorme said.


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