Stylish video captures Yangon’s cultural renaissance

A short video released last week captures the beauty and meaning of Yangon’s cultural resurgence after decades of repression by showcasing the talents of young artists and athletes.

Set in an abandoned mansion, a dank alley, and a run-down stadium, the video “Still/Life”, directed by freelance filmmaker Josh Hayward, is a montage of young, beautiful Yangonites moving deliberately to the rhythm of dramatic music. As the beat speeds up, so do the movements of the dancers, boxers, chinlone players, and footballers. The camera follows or counters the movements of the subjects, giving the viewer a sense of participation in the performances.

At its core, the video shows a bunch of normal city people doing normal city things, but these things carry added significance to viewers who know that until a few years ago, many of them would not have been possible, and they certainly would not have been visible to a global audience.

The video ends with this assertion: “A new generation of athletes and artists are fostering a cultural renaissance in Yangon. They are returning life to their city.”

It’s a nice tribute to Yangon. Check it out here:

Josh Hayward: “Still/Life” from Derby on Vimeo.

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