‘Happy World’ is a series of images by Olga Stefatou linking the recent past of Myanmar to the present. It is a documentation of a country in transition, focusing on the local ethos and the painful journey to political change. The multidimensional society of Myanmar is no longer isolated and seeks a new life. Keeping silent in Myanmar had been essential for over 50 years. It was related to people’s suffering, their efforts to fight for their lost rights as well as their joy. The emotions are oppressed and expressed in an intimate silence. Most generations have grown up in isolation and anger, perfectly trained to pretend and lock their feelings down under the fear. On the other hand, there are thousands of proactive people taking high personal risks to enforce the change and protect their faith in independency.
Olga Stefatou’s initial intention to explore Myanmar in 2006 was to photograph the land that established one of the cruelest juntas and embraced Aung San Suu Kyi, the woman who highlighted the political action without violence against the military regime. “When I arrived for first time I found a nation living in a total paradox. The contradictions I discovered in the coexistence of the ‘calligraphic’ landscape, the abused reality and people’s ethereal nature always in relation to the admirable struggle for freedom, captivated me almost at a personal level”.