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Exhibition highlights work of conflict photojournalists

KIA soldiers clash with Burmese troops during the height of hostilities between the Kachin Independence Army and the Burma Army in January 2013. (Photo: Steve Tickner)

Depictions of war, peace and protests are on display at the “Give Peace a Chance” exhibition at the 8th annual Yangon Photo Festival.

The event features the work of photojournalists who have captured the realities of armed conflicts and protests across Burma–including last year’s intense clashes between the Burmese military and Kokang rebels in northern Shan State and the deadly religious riots in Lashio in 2013.

Well-known photographer Minzayar said the event was also a valuable chance for photojournalists working in conflict zones to learn from each other.

“I think it’s worth sharing our experiences with one another about such as things as the places we are going to, who to contact there, and so on,” he said.

JPaing, known for his role in covering the ambush of a Myanmar Red Cross convoy by Kokang rebels that left one aid worker dead and last year’s police crackdown on student protests in Letpadan, said conflict reporters face significant challenges in the line of duty.

“There is a 50 percent chance you could die while reporting in a war zone,” he said. “While reporters need to prepare themselves for these possibilities, it is also necessary for the government to do more to guarantee press safety.”

The 2016 Yangon Photo Festival, which features work by international and domestic photographers, is being held at the French Institute until 31 March.