Hlaing Thar Yar (Myanmar)

On 1st February 2021 Myanmar’s military carried out a coup which deposed the democratically elected government and shattered a decade of political and social development overnight. Over the course of the first week of the new dictatorship protests began to grow, from small acts of defiance to a nationwide uprising which protestors began referring to as the ‘Spring Revolution’.

In order to suppress the growing protest movement the military soon turned to the use of deadly force and mass detention. In the first two months hundreds of peaceful protestors were murdered, thousands were imprisoned and virtually every town and city in the country was subjected to a brutal campaign of terror by state security forces. Hlaing Thar Yar’s images chart the first month of protests in Yangon, as small signs of resistance grew to become mass demonstrations of public opposition to military rule.


Hlaing Thar Yar is a Burmese street and documentary photographer based in Yangon, Myanmar. Their work plays with stylised framing, lighting and colours to evoke ideas of the fluidity of dreams of the impermanence of time. Since the military coup in Myanmar, Hlaing Thar Yar has turned their lens towards the social and political fallout of the popular uprising against the new dictatorship.