Article: On Emerging Ethnic Writers

Article: On Emerging Ethnic Writers

‘The book is small, about the size of a pocket notepad, mottled brown with a fading horned mountain goat sketched on the front cover. The staples have rusted, staining the inscription on the first page: ‘This Kachin Reader prepared by the Rev. J. F. Ingram for the second standard is approved by the Kachin tex (sic) book committee and is prescribed by the Director for Public Intruction (sic) for use in all Kachin schools.’

Longer article on ethnic writers in Myanmar today for the British Council Voices magazine.  Read the rest here.

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Kayah Short Story Workshop

Kayah Short Story Workshop

The penultimate Hidden Words, Hidden Worlds workshop took place in Kayah State at the beginning of June. Once a black zone where foreigners were forbidden to travel beyond the capital, Loikaw, Kayah State is home to three main ethnic groups, the Kayah, Kayan and Kayaw. It is these three groups that the workshop targeted, with 6 participants from each represented …

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Live Storytelling Event

Live Storytelling Event

Since then H2 has been on the road, holding week long workshops in Hpa-an Karen State, Mawlamyine Mon State, Myiktyina Kachin state and finally in Lashio, Northern Shan State. 80 local community members have joined the workshops; we have had youth workers, WW2 veterans, University professors, business men, gym instructors, IDP camp members and lots more…

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Article On Culture and Literature in Kachin

Article On Culture and Literature in Kachin

‘Duwa Howa Zau Gam leans on a walking stick and turns his back to the weak sun. It is still winter in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State in upper Burma. Half a dozen men in heavy coats circle around us, respectfully keeping their distance but close enough to hear his words. As the scion of Duwa Hkun Hpung, a signatory to the 1947 Panglong Agreement and a veteran of the famed WW2 resistance fighters called the 101st Kachin Rangers, he understands all too well how, in Burma, the sword is perversely mightier than the pen—how, in Kachin State, conflict has overruled culture.’

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Article: On Writing In A Hidden World

Article: On Writing In A Hidden World

‘Of late, Burmese literature has experienced liberalising reforms which have allowed the Burmese literary community to write, to some extent, without fear of censorship or imprisonment. And while this cautious optimism is to be congratulated, what has often been overlooked is the divergent state of Burmese literature: 135 ethnic minority groups each with an unread legacy of literature rooted in their own language, customs and environment.’

My recent article for Arts Professional magazine on the Hidden Words, Hidden Worlds project.

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Article: On Hidden Languages in Myanmar

Article: On Hidden Languages in Myanmar

‘His name is Saw Myint Zaw.  He is from Karen State in Eastern Burma.  He writes in the Sgaw language. You probably have never heard of him.  I hadn’t either until a few months ago.  Yet he offers a symbol of what we don’t know about ‘Burmese’ literature.  A literature that belongs to 40% of Burma’s people and yet is barely read or recognised within their own borders.  A literature that has been systemically repressed by successive governments in an attempt to ‘Burmanise’ the 135 ethnic groups in Burma. A literature without translation.’

Nearly forgot about this.  My article for Pen Atlas on Myanmar translation and ethnic literature associations.

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