The Last Bookshop in Myanmar

The Last Bookshop in Myanmar

Myanmar has yet to face the overwhelming and savage force of centralised, literary capitalism.  All bookshops in the country, with the exception of those owned by the state, are ‘independent’.  There are no national chains listed on a stock exchange.  No Barnes and Noble.  No Waterstones.  There is a Kinokuniya but it has not yet dared venture beyond the safety of the new International airport terminal …

continue reading

Dancing in the Manau Park in Kachin State

Dancing in the Manau Park in Kachin State

The Kachin, an umbrella term for the six ethnic communities who live in Myanmar’s most northerly state, were once led by Duwas or clan chiefs.  As well as governing their lands and the villages on it, the Duwa’s were also cultural guardians, commissioning Jaiwa’s – storytellers – to recount the epic oral myths and authorising the Manau celebrations.

continue reading

Wunpawng Shingni

Literally in English, ‘Kachin Arts’, Wunpawng Shingni is Kachin State’s first independent, secular, multi-ethnic arts organisation.  Residing in a two-storey wooden house in Myitkyina’s famed Manau Cultural Park, the whole organisation was formed in May 2013, taking advantage of the liberalising reforms of the Thein Sein administration …

continue reading

Northern Moon

Far away from the publishing power centres in Mandalay and Yangon and only a three hour drive from the frontline of a malignant civil conflict Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State in the far north of Myanmar is not where you would necessarily expect to find a thriving literary group …

continue reading