For two days, serious tattoo enthusiasts descended on Yangon’s Kandawgyi Palace Hotel to celebrate their passion at the the 2nd Tattoo Contest, hosted by Myanmar Traditional Tattoo Artist Family (MTTAF) on September 10 and 11.
There are many ways to commemorate a relationship between countries: parades, meetings between heads of state and press releases, for example. But to recognise the 60th anniversary of friendly relations between the Philippines and Myanmar, the conventional commemorations are to be thrown out the window.
The sixth annual Wathann Film Festival showcased over 30 local and international narrative films and documentaries this past weekend, and awarded the Best Short Film award to Period@Period, directed by Hnin Ei Hlaing, which tackled the often-controversial topic of women going through their menstrual cycle.
In February 2007, at the same time that students rushed the streets of Yangon to protest the government’s removal of fuel subsidies and the junta’s subsequent crackdown on dissidents, the skies filled with poems. Hastily scribbled verses flew from school windows before the rectors, hot on poets’ tails, could find and arrest them. Embodying the spirit of these purportedly more democratic times, a new generation of poets is seizing the moment through the performative, and often political, mode of spoken word and slam poetry.
From porcupine quills and fruit to silver coins and beads, the ethnic costumes on parade at the historic peace conference in Nay Pyi Taw last week showed off the country's diversity and added sartorial splendour to the cold detail of talks to end decades of civil war.
As galleries sprout up across Yangon, the women artists featured in experimental documentary For My Art have chosen to take their performances outside into the streets. The film’s directors – Emily Hong, Miasarah Lai and Mariangela Mihai – are members of ethnographic film collective EthnoCine, and have previously worked together on an experimental documentary Nobel Nok Dah, about three Karen women who resettle in upstate New York.
The Myanmar Times spoke to Hong and Mihai ahead of the film screening to find out more about the project.
In the past few years, people tell me, a certain vicious incivility has crept into the Western expatriate community in Yangon. The people residing within this parallel society are more stand-offish to outsiders, more hostile to newcomers, less receptive to friendships with Myanmar people, and more insularly contained within their own groups and networks. How did we get here, people?