Yangon review

Manu’s former boss picked up this review of our Yangon guide from the German architectural magazine Bauwelt. The review was written by Wilhelm Klauser, whose website is here. A short translation of the most important points after the jump.


From our Berlin book launch in September 2015

“Myanmar’s transition from dictatorship to democracy has to date been peaceful. It is high time for an architectural guide to Yangon”, writes Klauser in his opening remarks.

Capitalism is taking increasing hold of the country and the city, as evident from the amount of construction sites and cranes dotting the skyline.

It is no accident that this guide was not written by architects or art historians but by authors with a background in economics and an interest in urban studies.

Klauser goes on to sketch Yangon’s urban history, arriving in the turbulent post-2013 environment, which sees the city undergoing the most rapid transformation in many decades. He fears that much of its historical heritage will be lost in the process:

The guide is an inventory of the city’s substance. It charts new ground: It documents and illustrates what will disappear.

Klauser finds it hard to judge whether the right selection of buildings been made. But in the end, that does not matter:

…because the most important thing is that this work has seen the light of day at all. The support of the young Goethe Institute in Yangon is remarkable and important for the city.

A great review, raising important questions. We would like to see more discussions surrounding our book. To this end, we’ll put the contents online very shortly — stay tuned for updates!


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