Reflecting on the Saffron Revolution, in Poetry and Prose by Courtney Wittekind, 20/09/2017
This week’s posts on Tea Circle represent the start of our forum on the “Saffron Revolution,” during which we will feature submissions by those analyzing, debating, and reflecting upon the impact of Myanmar’s 2007 demonstrations, 10 years on. We will continue to accept submissions through the start of the forum, so if you would like to add your voice, whether in your own post or in the form of a response to another, please see our Call for Submissions or write to our editors at: email@example.com.
We begin with a poem by celebrated Burmese journalist, activist, writer, and poet Khet Mar, “The Wound.” It was written in 2012 following the release of 651 political prisoners, many of whom were members of the 88 Generation Students’ Group and sentenced following their participation in the 2007 demonstrations. In it, Khet Mar reflects on the struggle for political change in Burma/Myanmar, the country’s resultant legacies of activism, and the experience of witnessing upheaval from afar— an experience all too common for those in exile.
Courtney Wittekind and Khet Mar connected earlier this week to discuss the poem’s representation of the Saffron Revolution’s leaders, its relation to political change writ large, and how its words relate to the present moment, as we now look back upon past events. Their conversation follows the poem in English and in Burmese.