Some Favourite Stragglers, Part 2

Three images from Burma that I missed posting earlier:

Outlines in paint where a bank once was. In 2003 the United States imposed a series of trade sanctions on Burma that resulted in the collapse and closure of all private banks in the country. Even now, four years on, credit and foreign bank cards aren’t worth their weight in plastic.

Sugary smiles, in Mandalay.

Tissue-thin dress shirts catch fluorescent light and the attention of shoppers at the night markets in Mandalay.


Austin Andrews is a Vancouver-based photojournalist and occasional filmmaker with a penchant for finding the fantastic in the everyday. Contact him at austin [at] disposablewords [dot] net


  • Great pictures.

    But banks in Burma actually closed because of money laundering problems linked to Burma’s large illegal drug trade, to which the government is involved, not because of US sanctions, which are more symbolic than effective. Because the international community began to take note, the Burmese government shut down all private banks in the country, and actually investigated the AWB Bank for any ties to the Burmese illegal drug industry.

  • Yeah, I\’d heard that the sanctions have been a little shady, and not always for the better even when they are effective. I suppose we even saw that a couple weeks ago when it was revealed that the attack copters India plans to sell to Burma are made of parts from six EU countries, all of whom are bound by an arms embargo themselves.

    I wonder if the government actually \”found\” any illegal activities on part of the AWB or if the matter quietly went away.

    Thanks for the correction. The truth is far more interesting than the story I\’d been told.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *