Documenting the social and environmental impacts of Myanmar’s controversial and highly lucrative extractive industries sector.

Featuring: Andre Malerba, Hkun Lat, Lauren DeCicca, Matt Grace, Minzayar, Suthep Kritsanavarin, Yu Yu Myint Than

Presented by

Myanmar Deitta and the Natural Resource Governance Institute

Curated by

Matt Grace


Myanmar is Southeast Asia’s second-largest country and its diverse landscapes hold rich natural resources, from oil and gas reserves to vast gemstone and mineral deposits, rivers with huge hydropower potential, and some of the region’s largest intact forests.

Many of these resources, however, are located in its rugged periphery, in ethnic minority areas that have long been the stage for brutal ethnic conflict. During decades of repressive military rule, exploitation of resources was largely unregulated and associated with militarization, human rights abuses, and heavy social and environmental impact. Resource revenues were often siphoned off by a corrupt army elite.

The UNEARTH project began in 2015 as a collaboration between six documentary photographers and the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) in order to provide a visual record of Myanmar’s resource sector. The project is a platform for an expanding collection of stories from independent photographers, filmmakers and writers shedding light on issues surrounding the extractive industries sector in Myanmar at a time of unprecedented change in the country’s history.


UNEARTH is a project managed by Myanmar Deitta.

Myanmar Deitta is a not-for-profit organization committed to developing the resources for documentary photography, filmmaking and multimedia production in Myanmar. We work to develop training opportunities and workshop programs, host photographic exhibitions and screenings of documentary film and multimedia, and provide support for independent documentary projects.


UNEARTH is supported by the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI).

The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) helps people to realize the benefits of their countries’ endowments of oil, gas and minerals. We do this through technical advice, advocacy, applied research, policy analysis and capacity development. We work with innovative agents of change within government ministries, civil society, the media, legislatures, the private sector and international institutions to promote accountable and effective governance in the extractive industries.



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