Burma in Transition // 24 Photos

In November 2010, the Burmese people voted in the first general election in a generation. The international community, including the United Nations, expressed 'grave concern' over the nature of these elections. Western governments and election monitoring groups generally concluded that the elections were neither free nor fair.

Just days later, the junta of generals controlling Burma signed release papers for pro-democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi. Suu Kyi had spent 15 of the preceding 21 years imprisoned in her own home. Pundits and analysts jumped into action, asking whether this change was all an act to woo lucrative trade from the West, or whether a 'Burmese spring' was indeed under way.

While these big-picture events rolled on overhead, life on the streets of Burma's cities, towns and villages ground on. These are the streets of Burma, in the years leading up to the vote.