Geoffrey Hiller’s Enduring Love Affair with Myanmar
Well-known Portland-based photographer Geoffrey Hiller’s first encounter with Myanmar was back in 1987. He was drawn to the resilient people of this country, whose political legacy is deep-rooted in authoritarian, repressive military regime, and went on to visit Myanmar many times. This love affair bore an award-winning web documentary and compelling photos capturing the lives of a people forgotten by the rest of the word. Hiller’s new book ‘Daybreak in Myanmar’ started out as a Kickstarter project that was successfully funded last year.Movie A Dog’s Purpose (2017)
Besides being a masterful photographer, Geoffrey Hiller is also a multimedia producer and a Fulbright scholar. His works have been published in such eminent magazines as Newsweek, New York Times Magazine, Geo and Mother Jones and across the USA, Europe and Japan. As a staff member on the Brazilian edition of National Geographic, he has several photo essays in Latin America, Europe, Asia and West Africa to his name. His multi-media projects on Myanmar, Ghana, Europe and Brazil have been recognized by USA Today and Apple Computer.
In 2000, Hiller produced Burma : Grace under Pressure, a multi-media web documentary that’s not just a kaleidoscope of beautiful pictures but also filled with insightful quotations and a lot of wisdom. The documentary, which has been seen by millions, was shown in Ireland at the 10th anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize, which had been given to Myanmar’s most famous face – political activist Aung San Suu Kyi in 1991. Eleven years later, the U.S State Department sent Hiller to teach photojournalism in Yangon. It coincided with a historic time in Myanmar’s politics – the release of Suu Kyi from house arrest. Suu Kyi’s release has set the wheels of Myanmar’s changing image as a more democratic nation in motion, a change that Hiller has also acknowledged.
Will Myanmar’s changing face affect Hiller’s emotions towards a country he has admitted being drawn to because of its untouched, unique existence in today’s ‘world is a global village’ situation? This constancy can be seen and felt in Hiller’s photographs from recent years and those going back over a decade. That’s something you can ask him if you sign up for Photo Xpeditions’ 12-day Hidden Myanmar photo workshop commencing on November 8, 2015. Hiller is the workshop’s instructor and happens to be one of our distinguished Xperts.
Meanwhile, you can check out his book ‘Daybreak in Myanmar’ on Amazon. The 192 page book has 170 color photographs and is sequenced by the time of day showing local Burmese go about their daily routine.
All photographs: © Geoffrey Hiller