The Limits to History

Public discussions around Rohingya people currently fleeing violence in Rakhine state, Myanmar, have often involved arguments about history. While critical historical analysis is useful in offering insights into conflicts, History—if treated as a single, knowable past—is not. This is especially true when dealing with ethnicity. Whatever the past was, no amount of historical research can…

Capturing Burma’s Ethnic Diversity

The UK National Archives have released an album on Flickr of 121 images taken in Burma in 1903. They were originally held in the Colonial Office photographic archive. Much like the imperial ethnographers who worked in the country, these photographers were attempting to capture the differences between ethnic groups – especially those in the ‘remote’…