The development of the Dawei Special Economic Zone (DSEZ), a join project between the Myanmar, Thai and Japanese governments aimed at transforming Cha Kan village into the largest deep-sea port and petrochemical facility in Southeast Asia, has seen thousands of people displaced.


Over the next 30 years, DSEZ is predicted to increase Myanmar’s GDP by five percent. However, in the meantime many villagers have been poorly compensated, if at all, for their homes and now face an uncertain future.

For David Maurice Smith's reportage "Paper Tigers: Development in Myanmar," he photographed villages that have been impacted by the construction of this deep-sea port and petrochemical facility, and how lax labor laws and environmental regulations are affecting the daily life of civilians.


Pyin Gi, Tanintharyi, Myanmar

January 3, 2015

Photo : David Maurice Smith @davidmauricesmith / Oculi @oculi

Villages like Pyin Gi face an uncertain future because of investments in infrastructure, like the massive DSEZ (Dawei Special Economic Zone) deep-sea port planned for the area. This project will turn an area filled with villages like Pyin Gi into the largest petrochemical facility and deep-sea port in Southeast Asia.


This photograph has been pasted near the main square of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, part of our residency in Bogota in October 2016.

Installed in Bogota, Colombia

Photo : Benjamin Petit @bendophoto


This image was also part of the operation conducted during the Contact Photo festival in Toronto in May 2016.

Installed in Toronto, Canada

Photo : Benjamin Petit @bendophoto