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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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Call for Submissions: Tea Circle’s Forum on the 10th anniversary of the “Saffron Revolution”, 21/08/2017, Tea Circle (Oxford)
September 2017 will mark the 10th anniversary of the so-called “Saffron Revolution.” Tens of thousands of monks and nuns, eventually joined by laypeople, marched in cities across the country, continuing a protest against military rule and government policies that was started by lay activists, but taken up by the religious community. After several days of growing anticipation and rapidly expanding global media coverage, the marches were brought to a halt by a violent crackdown from security forces, followed by raids and increased surveillance of monasteries.
People inside and outside of Myanmar were captivated by the images of monks chanting and marching in protest, although misperceptions of the event’s dynamics and the motivations of participants were also widespread, especially among outside observers. Even its evocative title is contested, both for the fact that Burmese monks’ robes are not saffron-coloured and because some are reluctant to associate the term “revolution” with what was seen by some as a form of spiritual resistance. While a wide consensus exists that this was an important moment in the recent political and social life of Myanmar—and to some extent maybe even in its religious life—there are a great variety of opinions over the event’s origins, its history, its role in the change the country has experienced since then and its general significance.
Tea Circle would like to take the opportunity offered by this anniversary to reflect on the “Saffron Revolution,” and to offer a space for considering and debating this variety of perspectives. We invite personal recollections, opinion pieces, critical analyses, or any other type of writing. Multi-media submissions are also welcome. Tea Circle is open not only to academic analysis but to anyone who wishes to share his/her views in reflecting on this important event in Myanmar’s recent history.
Submissions can be submitted any time and should be sent by email to email@example.com with the subject line “Saffron Revolution.” The text of the submission should be attached in a word document with minimal formatting (although hyperlinks are welcome). A short biography (under 100 words) should be included in the document, as well as a proposed title for the piece and a related image, if possible. We will make every effort to provide prompt feedback on submissions and the forum will run for at least two months, allowing readers to interact with previous posts.
Voir : https://teacircleoxford.com/2017/08/21/call-for-submissions-tea-circles-forum-on-the-10th-anniversary-of-the-saffron-revolution/