Sunday, August 31, 2008

Analyze better -- make your own bar charts etc --

Vine shoots into sky and falls back to earth -- photo copyright Kyi May Kaung.

Did the clouds cause it or was it just gravity and its own growth cycle? Why do the leaves appear later?

No need to fail Stats 101 :)

Blog text copyright Kyi May Kaung

See -- this article in New York Times

The new Russian landless laborer -- as capitalist farms take over collectives --

Shortcomings in Burma Studies -- The late Dr Chao Tzang Yawngwe -

said it too --

It's not just me.

If it could address current issues, the quality of "expert advice" would be better -- as it is Burma Studies academics tend to distrust dissidents and activists.

The result is an ostrich head-in-the-sand attitude. There is so much tippy toeing, in case the junta is annoyed and visas are denied.

My heart bleeds for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma.

As one poet, who would like to be anonymous, said once, "You guys (people outside) are pretty cruel aren't you? You let Daw Suu and everyone inside do it all (take all the risks)."

Kyi May Kaung --

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I am launching a Consultancy Service --

"Burmese Ginger" developed in Thailand -- Photo copyright Kyi May Kaung

I am launching a consultancy service -- Kaung Words and Images.

Please leave a message on this blog with your real name, (name on your passport)- full contact info. including street address and phone numbers and email, and a short one paragraph description of yourself and your project. These won't be published, but I need full contact info. I will then send you my fee structure.

I consult on fiction and non-fiction, Burma and S.E. Asian political economy and World Art and Literature.

Blog text copyright Kyi May Kaung.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Aung San Suu Kyi, under house arrest, refuses food.

Warning -- painting and photo Copyright Kyi May Kaung --

Will they just let this great human being die???

Comment Copyright Kyi May Kaung.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Burma in the wake of Cyclone Nargis -- video from CNN

Scroll down video to about May 2008.

We are approaching the one-year anniversary of The Saffron Revolution in Burma in Sept 2007.

I observe that Burmese crises are becoming closer together and more severe, which makes sense in the light, or rather darkness, of the junta's ratcheted up oppression and the accompanying systemic problems, from infrastructure to bureaucracy to an enormous army to environmental degradation.

Blog text copyright Kyi May Kaung.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi refuses to see UN envoy Mr. Gambari, who seems to be pushing for a 2010 "election" --

In my opinion, there is no need to put Daw Suu and the NLD through another election --( a former American Ambassador to Burma said she is sure SPDC would cheat this time)-- when the results of the 1990 election, which Daw Suu's party won, has never been honored.

This is the junta's way. If the game does not go the way they want it to, they change the game and play a new game with new "rules."

Should she and her party be going through "new elections" over and over???

It's ridiculous, but even some young dissidents overseas have been sucked in, perhaps because they think the younger cohorts will have a better chance, but I hardly think the junta will let anyone but themselves win. To think otherwise would be naive in the extreme.

No wonder Daw Suu refuses to see an "envoy" who is no use.

During Cyclone Nargis the junta affectively hoodwinked the U.N.

Blog text Copyright Kyi May Kaung.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Upcoming coffee klatsch -- "for people who work at home, and might go stir crazy otherwise."

Thursday, 21st August 2008, 2.30 PM - 4 PM at Busboys and Poets,near U St./Cardozo metro stop.

Melissa Tuckey, Joanne Growney and myself are hosting in turns, 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month, for Sarah Browning, who is on sabbatical.

Do drop by. Purely social gathering, buy your own food and drink,though sometimes art networking does happen.

I mis-wrote "story crazy" and that happens too.

Kyi May Kaung

Re-posting, my feature article on Vineeta Gupta -- AIDS Crusader

This article originally appeared in Asian Fortune, based on an appearance Vineeta made at my Dr. Kaung's Salon in Silver Spring, MD.

Kyi May Kaung

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Russian Oligarch art collectors and market --

Echoes of story in Martin Cruz Smith's novel Red Square.

A must read for Burmese -- what happens when the economy opens.

Kyi May Kaung

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My upcoming collage show -- Cut and Paste --

3D Collage Crazy Horse Hill -- Copyright Kyi May Kaung

Cut and Paste

An exhibit of collages by Kyi May Kaung, Patricia Zannie, and Amy Kincaid

Sept. 3 through 30, 2008

Village of Friendship Heights Art Gallery

4433 S. Park Ave in Chevy Chase, Maryland 301-656-2797

Reception on Sunday, Sept. 14 11:30 to 1:30pm

"Painting as agitation" -- Saul Manifesto -- from NYTs

Not for everyone, and hard to hang in the living room, but nevertheless reflective of truth.

My personal favorite, "Columbus Discovers America."

I was at US Chamber of Commerce a couple of years ago, where President Bush gave a speech, and a recently arrived refugee from Burma and I tried to decipher the heraldic shields and banners on the ceiling and walls -- Ponce de Leon, Columbus etc.

Finally we figured it out.

Comment -- copyright Kyi May Kaung.

Blurred lines between torture and healing in Guantanamo -- from NYTs

Symptomatic of blurred lines everywhere -- victim take care --

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Burma's sad anniversary -- The Economist magazine

Time dulls the shock a bit, but not much.

As one crazy young person who was trying to set up an interview for me asked "But you weren't there, how did you experience the day itself?"

As if one "has to be there" especially in this day and age of superb communications, and now the citizen journalist, in order to feel anything.

In fact, in the crises inside Burma when I was still there, I knew less because of the news censorship --

Some people in journalism really know nothing, chasing after the present moment, which of course is gone as soon as it is reached.

This young person understood nothing. She thought I was "all over the place" because she didn't realize that what I was trying to do was pull together experiences and lessons from the last twenty years.

Commentary, copyright Kyi May Kaung

Burmese water pot dance with pots I designed and made --

of papier mache, with help of the dancers --

It's taken a year for me to see this, as no one thought to send me a link.

Typical Burmese sang froid and casualness.

Girls promised me one of pots I made as a gift, but haven't got that either.

Anyway, the dancers were skilled and the pots were nice.

It took 3 weeks to make them, of lots of wet newspaper. Three weeks of pots drying in my limited working space.

Well -- at least the pots can never break being made of paper -- hope Burmese democracy is like that too.

Blog text copyright Kyi May Kaung

Last great poet to fill a stadium --more on the late Mahmoud Darwish --

Chandelier abstract, Helsinki hotel, photograph Copyright Kyi May Kaung

Faiz Ahmed Faiz was one such poet:

Here from The True Subject: Selected Poems by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, translated from the Urdu by Naomi Lazard --

If you look at the city from here
you see it laid out in concentric circles
each circle surrounded by a wall
exactly like a prison
Each street is a dog-run for prisoners
No milestones, no destinations, no way out.

If anyone moves too quickly you wonder
why he hasn't been stopped by a shout.
If someone raises his arm
you expect to hear the jangling of chains.

In c.1995 I met Yevtushenko when he was in Philadelphia on the University of Pennsylvania campus. He was reading from his big bilingual book of Russian poetry that Jackie Kennedy Onassis helped arrange when she worked as an editor.

The first thing he asked me when he learned I was from Burma, was "How is Aung San Suu Kyi and your beautiful country?"

The same day the vendor selling hot dogs by the roadside also asked me about Daw Suu.

So did a taxi driver recently in March when I came home from the airport.

Very amazing, the power of truth and the power of words and poetry.

I will try and bring you little vignettes from my meetings with (some) famous poets. --

Kyi May Kaung

Monday, August 11, 2008

Satire: 2008 new U.S. dollar bill --

Image from "Somewhere" circulating on Internet.

Did you see Bill Moyer's Journal this week about US budget deficit while Iraq has $49b surplus??

No wonder George Washington must be turning in his grave.

Kyi May Kaung

Public domain image of Preah Vihear --

More Preah Vihear pictures --

Meeting President Bush, by Aung Zaw of Irrawaddy Magazine --

Famous Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish dies in Houston of complications after heart surgery and will be buried on West Bank --

Roses being sold on sidewalk in Helsinki -- photo copyright Kyi May Kaung

Said to have written famous lines spoken by Arafat at U.N.

"I come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter's gun. Do not let the olive branch drop from my hand."

On Massachusetts Avenue in Washington DC, almost opposite the statue of Winston Churchill in front of the British Embassy, is a memorial to Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran, who also lived and wrote in exile, and whose remains were taken home to be buried.

We can't live and write in our home countries, or write and live. As a Burmese, what use is it to go home when dead?

Kyi May Kaung

Burmese/Karen refugees in Hartford, Connecticutt --,0,242845.story

Somebody near there please help Lah Di link up to the Internet. He needs it!

Kyi May Kaung

Andy Brouwer's fabulous pictures of equally fabulous Preah Vihear

Much easier to go from the Thai side.

Never been but will one day.

Kyi May Kaung

Sunday, August 03, 2008

So-called Angkor "National" Museum is Thai business --

I am not surprised. I went on a Bangkok Airways tour, did not check which foreign investors built which hotels,was obliged by tour to eat at Thai-run restaurants --

As I am originally from Burma, you might say I am used to all this --

At least $10m missing from UN aid to Burma for Cyclone Nargis --,2933,396143,00.html

due to both unrealistic exchange rate that benefits the junta and outright stealing, one supposes --

Washington Post on Burmese prisons --

Believe it, it's all true -- I have met many survivors --

there are also those who have "turned" after a stint in prison.

Kyi May Kaung

Burmese junta entrenched -- flush with cash from natural gas --

This is a very comprehensive report with maps, data etc.

Friday, August 01, 2008

(Laura and G.W.) Bush and Burma -- by Aung Zaw -- first published in Irrawaddy Magazine --

This is a good summary of the Bush administration's Burma Policy.

Kyi May Kaung

My archive at IISH, Amsterdam--