Streets of Kuala Lumpur
Last summer, I went to Malaysia for my project ‘Streets of Kuala Lumpur’. With this street photography project, I captured life in all its facets on the streets of Kuala Lumpur. It was challenging, exciting and interesting as it is a city that is diverse in many ways. It is a mixture of nationalities, cultures and religions. On top of that, there is a clear division between the business centre where the skyscrapers, businessmen and touristy parts are, and the suburbs where the locals live that are basically villages on their own. In this series, I used a 50mm prime manual focus lens in capturing all the photos in order to have the whole series in the same perspective. The serie consists of several subtopics all built around one: life on the streets of Kuala Lumpur.
I am currently in the process of finding the best way to release or exhibit the work I have created. I hope to come with further information soon.
Malaysia experienced an economic boom in the 20th century, making it one of the most competitive in the world. This attracted many people from Bangladesh, China, and Indonesia in their hunt for a better future. However, Malaysia never seemed to successfully target poverty and lately the rapid economic growth stopped which visibly hits the lower class, often the migrants from Bangladesh, China, or Indonesia.
I visited the many construction sites that can be found in Kuala Lumpur in an attempt to give all those workers building this city a face. This serie is called ‘Builders of Kuala Lumpur’.
The economic growth in the 20th century of Malaysia caused a boom in the construction of modern skyscrapers. Up until today construction is going on at almost every street corner, the construction is mostly done by migrant workers from Bangladesh and Indonesia. Although the large scale construction is better supervised and regulated nowadays, small scale construction often lacks this.
The suppression by the military regime (1962-2011) in Myanmar caused many minorities to flee the country, with the majority (92,263 registered) going to Malaysia. However, Malaysia only grants temporary asylum to refugees, meaning that the Burmese refugees are left in uncertainty, waiting for final resettlement to a country that accepts them. In the mean time, the Alliance of Chin Refugees (ACR) learning centre provides education for Burmese refugee kids in order to give them a better chance in their new country. The hope for change in Myanmar is sparked by the first partial free lections in 2015 that might mark the end of and era of suppression.
I went to the Alliance of Chin Refugees (ACR) learning centre where Burmese refugees receive education. The serie is called ‘Burmese Refugees in Malaysia.’ It attempts to humanise the term ‘refugee’, and show that they still find joy in life despite going through heavily traumatising experiences.
In Kuala Lumpur, food is never far. It is a big part in the daily lives of the locals and provides an income for many, from people selling fresh produce at the local wet markets in the morning, to the many street food stands which really come alive at night. In the serie ‘Wet Markets of Kuala Lumpur,’ I show the raw local culture of food trading which can be a shock to westerners.
The serie ‘Street Food in Kuala Lumpur’ gives an insight in the food culture and how food brings locals, migrant workers and tourists together.
The last topic I cover in my ‘Streets of Kuala Lumpur Series’ is called ‘Formula GP in Kuala Lumpur’ and captures how the citizens experience the first street race.
The KL City Grand Prix 2015 was held for the first time in 2015 and aimed at bringing all layers of the KL community to the track to watch the race of the KL GT City Cup, V8 supercars, Lamborghini Super Trofeo, and Formula Masters. One of the few occasions in KL that people from a poor and rich background stand side by side to watch an event.