This project deals with Burma (Myanmar). Since 2012 the country is in the middle of a big political transition, a process that accelerated in the aftermath of the November 2015 elections. Fair and free elections were held and the party fighting for democracy won. But the serious problems and the military power structures that came with fifty years of dictatorship in Burma have not disappeared over night.
International media neglect Burma, mainly because it is geographically and culturally too distant. The number of news articles increased strongly over the election period, and decreased as quickly after that. But as Burma goes through a key moment in its history the country needs international awareness and support.
In my project I put these two elements together with the growing number of tourists that visit Burma. Can tourism be used as an opportunity to make information more visible? Travel writing is an interesting genre because it combines emotions and factual information. It is attractive thanks to the exoticism of places and cultures described, and it presents information through the personal perspective of the narrator. Especially in media-isolated areas such as Burma the power of travel stories can fill the gap. The design project investigates how tourists can be involved in sharing information as they travel, and how their reports can have a positive influence on the way Burma transforms into an open, democratic society.