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The Angus McDonald Scholarships

A collaboration between Myanmar Deitta, The Angus McDonald Trust, and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute.

THE FIRST PHOTOGRAPHY INITIATIVE OF ITS KIND IN MYANMAR

The Angus McDonald Photography Scholarships, in partnership with Myanmar Deitta in Myanmar’s largest city of Yangon, is the very first initiative of its kind in Myanmar. Its aim is to foster Burmese talent in the field of documentary photography and increase the range of opportunities for Myanmar nationals to receive international-standard photography training. Scholarships will be offered based on individual needs and will cover fees and expenses needed to allow students to attend programmes both regionally and further afield.

Crucially, the intiative will differ from traditional scholarship programmes by placing equal emphasis on the need to offer international-standard training with the importance of developing domestic educational opportunities. To ensure that the scholarships provide individual development whilst also guaranteeing that those skills and experiences are beneficial to the wider development of photography education in Myanmar the scholarships will consist of two parts. The reason for this is to ensure that when awardees return to Myanmar they continue to share their skills and learning for the improvement and development of the programme, simultaneously strengthening its longevity and sustainability.

TRAINING MYANMAR’S PHOTOGRAPHERS OF THE FUTURE

An inaugural five-month scholarship was awarded in 2017 and will be followed, in 2018, by the establishment of a three-month domestic photography programme – a preparatory ‘foundation course’ – at Myanmar Deitta’s Gallery and Teaching Centre in Yangon, Myanmar. This year’s scholarship recipient, Myanmar photographer Yu Yu Myint Than, will return to Yangon with experienced international instructors and assist with the co-ordination and teaching of the course. From this foundation course, subsequent scholarship recipients will be selected annually to study outside of Myanmar, and required to return to assist with the co-ordination and teaching of the following year’s programme in Yangon.

CONTINUITY AND CAPACITY-BUILDING FOR MYANMAR’S PHOTOGRAPHY COMMUNITY

By ensuring that recipients return to Myanmar to pass on the knowledge they have gained and share the experiences they have been through The Angus McDonald Scholarships will create a cyclical initiative with continuity and expansion as core elements of its implementation. It will also create a robust platform for an expanding peer-to-peer network of support for future students and capacity-building for Myanmar Deitta’s Gallery and Teaching Centre – both of which are essential to the future development of domestic education in the field of documentary photography.

The Angus McDonald Scholarships launched its first iteration in November 2017 with a single scholarship awarded to Myanmar photographer Yu Yu Myint Than to study the five-month International Photography Programme at the prestigious Pathshala South Asian Media Institute. Yu Yu is uniquely placed to begin the first cycle of the initiative, already working with local partner Myanmar Deitta to develop their educational programmes and having already studied a preparatory programme with Pathshala, thereby foregoing the need for the proposed domestic course in this first iteration. Yu Yu will return to Yangon to support the establishment of the first year of the domestic foundation course, helping to ensure that other photographers are ready to take advantage of the expanding scholarship programme in 2018.

Myanmar Deitta is currently seeking support for the scholarship programme. If you are interested in receiving more information please email contact@deitta.org.

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