Visual Culture Colloquium - Min Ma Naing

  • Goldwin Smith Hall, G22

Visual Culture Colloquium

Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 4:45pm

Min Ma Naing

Beyond Burmese Esthetics

Physical Event

Goldwin Smith Hall, G22

“I don’t find Burmese esthetics in your work.” This is a critique that Min Ma Naing, a photographer from Myanmar, has often received from international curators and editors. Living through dictatorships, conflicts, restrictive social norms, she and other local photographers have endured surviving in Myanmar. In her practice she seeks to challenge the idea of what Burmese esthetics is. In this talk, she will share the journeys of photographers who tell the inside stories of Myanmar, and with her photography, open the door to a conversation about what Burmese esthetics can be.


Min Ma Naing is a personal documentary photographer from Myanmar, who was based in Yangon till June 2021. Starting out as a press photographer, she realized that short-term assignments are not for her. She then decided to focus on stories around love and hatred. She is also interested in making photobooks as art objects and has made a few books for herself and her art collective. She has adopted the temporary pseudonym “Min Ma Naing” because of the political situation in Myanmar. It means “The King Cannot Beat You”.

Image Credit: Min Ma Naing (pseudonym)

Image caption: “Untitled”, 2021, from the Faces of Change series, Yangon, Myanmar

“First, I felt angry, but I became sad as soon as I heard the news of the coup. But my anger eventually beat my sadness. We have lost our youth, dreams, hopes, and our loved ones in this revolution. Whenever I feel sad or weak in this long war, I am driven by my anger to carry on. I will be carrying this anger until we win.” - Social Worker, 27