Former colonial spaces and buildings within Yangon's financial district persist through the people who occupy them. The act of inhabiting a place encompasses a wider meaning; not merely occupying, but offering a soul to buildings of a bygone and troubled era.
Despite the rapid social and economic transformations taking place, it is the residents that keep alive these dilapidated structures. Crumbling and weather worn Victorian and Edwardian era buildings, each with their own distinct histories, remain a hub of activity. Families who have occupied these buildings for several generations, eke out an existence in the upper floors, while small bureaucratic offices operate on the lower floors. Life in and around the court houses, post offices and bank buildings remains relatively unchanged. Modernity hasn’t fully entered these spaces to change the fabric of the buildings or the habits of the occupants.
Although these streets and buildings were built by and for the British, over time they have gradually become an integral part of the foundations of contemporary society. The walls and windows have bared witness to dark moments in recent history, but today these spaces and structures act as protective shells for many and illustrate the immense complexity of finding a sense of place in this rapidly changing metropolis.