Photo Essay: Faces of Dawei, Faces of Change
The Mekong Eye, Dawei, Myanmar
Dawei is a seaside community of less than 5,000 families, in one of the world’s least developed corners. Myanmar’s ever widening borders, however, have lured investments here on a scale beyond anything previously conceived within Southeast Asia.
The Dawei Special Economic Zone envisions nearly 200 square kilometers of industrial development, a deepsea port and associated road, rail and pipeline links to neighboring Thailand and beyond.
Photojournalist Taylor Weidman captures the faces of Dawei as they they contemplate what lies ahead. Will their fisheries and betel nut farms still provide viable livelihoods? Will new jobs be available to them and their children or be taken by more higher skilled prospects from outside? Will environmental controls be sufficient and sufficiently enforcement to protect the community, and the natural resources that now sustain it?
Not knowing what’s headed their way, much less able to comprehend the scale of transformation upon them, Weidman’s images capture a people awaiting the future with both excitement and apprehension of what’s to come.
Taylor Weidman lives in Northern Thailand. In August 2015 he traveled to Dawei with support from the Mekong Partnership for the Environment. As a regular assignment photographer for Getty Images, his work has appeared worldwide, including The New York Times, TIME, National Geographic and others.
These images were produced in collaboration with The Mekong Eye and Mekong Matters Journalism Network, with full editorial control to the journalist and their outlet. All images are owned by and available for purchase from Getty Images
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