IN SEARCH OF DIGNITY

Photographer Gunter Pfannmüller and writer Wilhelm Klein were the first photojournalists allowed into Burma in1980. As a consequence, they produced the first ‘Burma Insight Guide’, of which over a million copies were printed in 12 languages.  In their books, they have acquainted the rest of the world with the beauty of this then still secluded country. As a team, they have now been photographing in Myanmar for over 35 years with a focus on Myanmar’s peoples.

For that, they traveled with a portable photography studio of their own invention and a generous supply of determination and patience to most of the hill tribes that circle the Ayeyarwady Valley.

Their photographs resonate with humanity–in the faces, postures and elaborate dress of the extraordinary ethnic diversity of Myanmar’s peoples, whose traditions and strong sense of inherited culture afford them complete self-possession. What makes the collection of these photographs so extraordinary is the aura of a dignity often obscured by modernity, a dignity that connects and combines these many tribes with the Burmans of the central valley.

Pfannmueller’s perspective on what the diverse peoples of the region share has over time become a fascinating visual document of what will always unite a nation – the indivisible string of a common propriety – a bond that can heal all wounds.