Kachin Short Story Workshop

 

Ok, so i didn’t comment on the previous update like i said i would but i’m a bit behind on the bloggin’ and well, the fact the Irrawaddy lit festival changed venue at the last minute pretty much says it all.

On happier news, the 3rd workshop in the Hidden Words, Hidden Worlds project successfully took place in the last week of January in Myitkyina.  Hosted by the Millennium Centre and supported by the Kachin Culture and Literature Co-operation, 22 community members took part in five days of short story instruction led by Yangon writer Dr Khin Pah Hnin and Kachin writer and educationist N-Gan Tang Gun.

Participants included IDP camp residents, second world war veterans, Kachin Baptist Convention members, youth workers, university professors and students.

As usual, the ending of the workshop was celebrated with a Live Literature night, over 130 community members from local cbo’s, religious groups including sikh, muslim and gurkhali, Kachin state youth networks and others attended.  Walu Sin Wa, the president of the KCLC honoured the event with a speech and award presentations.

With the military closing the airport on the days we wanted to fly out and return, we ended staying in Myitkyina for an extra four days which allowed some time to connect with the local ethnic literature groups – i counted 11 in Myitkyina ranging from the government Kachin State Literature department, to private writers group such as the Northern Moons, to secular organizations such as the Wunpawng Shingni.  Presented a little speech to the Kachin Theological College in front of about 200 students and faculty, thought it was just going to be a meeting with the Dean, but there you go.   Had a quick meeting with the Kachin Dictionary Committee, who have spent the last 10 years attempting to create a standardised dictionary for the Jingphaw language.

Also managed to fit in a trip to the Myitsone confluence.  No evidence of the series of dams further down river but the access roads are still being constructed to them, clearly the Chinese are not too worried about the Dams ‘suspended sentence’.  Plus had some of the best wild pig meat in Burma.

 

 

 

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About Lucas Stewart

Former British Council Literature Advisor | Author of The People Elsewhere: Unbound Journey's with the Storytellers of Myanmar