Myanmar: Reflections on a Reverie
Hilaneh Mahmoudi is a photographer born in Iran and currently residing in istanbul. She mostly enjoys capturing feelings and random emotions of people living in diverse neighborhoods and human interactions in their respective environments. Emotions, she thinks, are what we all have in common regardless of our race, gender, age or position in society.
This following project was done during a visit to different and rural parts of Myanmar in March 2016. With hopes to bring a piece of that wonderfully mysterious culture to people who haven’t had the chance yet to visit. The focus of the book is Burmese people themselves and the serene feeling they leave on the observer…
“I was born in Tehran, in 1976, very fortunately to a family that had great appreciation for art, music, literature.. I grew up in that wonderfully bizarre time in the history of that beautiful land that encompassed a revolution, war and political turmoil. The life I will experienced in Iran is perhaps what defines me most. A life full of fear, intense friendships, close bonds and interactions, despair, anger and sadness alongside extreme excitement.. It definitely formed a part of the prism through which I look at life and shaped my view of the world and humanity in general. I’m ever so grateful for a life that was at the very least not boring or empty at any moment! I was lucky to move to Toronto next for university and was able to add the experience of living in a complete different setting to my list. After a few years I moved to Istanbul with my partner and started implementing what I had studied, mathematics and education, as a teacher, for several years. Later due to my partners work, we moved to Azerbaijan and then Kazakhstan. There I was lucky to be able to stop working for wages and dedicated time to volunteer work mostly in an orphanage. That was something I had always felt the need to engage in. We moved back to Istanbul 3 years ago, with my daughters and partner, and that’s when I started going after my true calling. Throughout my life, art, music and photography have been constants I relied on to cope with difficulty and enjoy life… Photography specifically, is like speaking or writing.. It’s the most comfortable medium for me to speak of my reality, it’s the best way I’ve found to express myself. I have been lucky these past couple of years to find a way to combine my two passions, photography and social work, and to make this combination my professional goal and my purpose.”