Award of Excellence

Myanmar’s Uprising

Ta Mwe

Sacca Photo

On 1st February 2021 Myanmar’s military carried out a coup which deposed the democratically elected government and shattered a decade of political and social development overnight. Over the course of the first week of the new dictatorship protests began to grow, from small acts of defiance to a nationwide uprising which protestors began referring to as the ‘Spring Revolution’. In order to suppress the growing protest movement the military soon turned to the use of deadly force and mass detention. In the first two months hundreds of peaceful protestors were murdered, thousands were imprisoned and virtually every town and city in the country was subjected to a brutal campaign of terror by state security forces. Ta Mwe’s images chart the first month of protests in Yangon, as small signs of resistance grew to become mass demonstrations of public opposition to military rule, before deteriorating into pitched battles and siege-like conditions on the streets of Myanmar’s largest city.

Ta Mwe is a photographer and documentary filmmaker based in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). He is also a member of documentary photography agency, Sacca Photo. Ta Mwe was one of the pioneer bloggers in Myanmar and followed his passion to become a full-time photographer. He has worked for local newspapers and European Pressphoto Agency, and some of his photography projects have been featured in International Herald Tribune, The Guardian and Bangkok Post. He also contributed video reporting for BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, DRT, France 24 and Global Witness. He is regularly working on assignments for Al Jazeera. He founded a photo and video production studio named ‘25º STUDIO’ to provide reportage and documentary film production services in 2015. He is interested in social issues, political issues, human rights issues, and is currently working on personal projects.

[ ISSUE REPORTING PICTURE STORY ] A long-term project on a single topic. It could focus on science, news, politics or any number of topics, ranging from coverage of a single person to an entire community. The project must convey a deep understanding of the subject. Each submission consists of 10 to 40 images. Each participant is allowed to enter up to 3 submissions. All images must be taken in 2020 or 2021. Stories on COVID-19 should not be entered in this category.

Judges for Issue Reporting Picture Story
Ikuru Kuwajima
Tanvi Mishra
Sanjit Das
Maika Elan
Oded Wagenstein