Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Institute of Policy Studies event on War, Memory and Burma, Korea, Laos, Vietnam


Sad Clown, 8 x10" Oil on canvas, Copyright Kyi May Kaung.

"Mirthful paint cannot erase, despair that's written on my face." Bijan C. Bayne.

“War, Memory and Representation in Art:
Burma, Korea, Laos, & Vietnam”
A panel discussion organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, www.ips-dc.org
Date: January 28, 2009
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Location: DC Peace Mural Exhibition
3336 M Street, NW (Georgetown)
Washington, DC 20007
Type: Forum / Panel discussion (indoors)
Cost: Free
Website: http://www.ips-dc.org/events/1008
Contact: Kathryn Zickuhr, kathryn.zickuhr@gmail.com
Please join Kyi May Kaung, Annabel Park, Channapha Khamvongsa, and Anna
Huong on January 28 inside the Washington DC Peace Mural Exhibition for a
powerful discussion of the representation of conflict and suffering in art, “War,
Memory and Representation in Art: Burma, Korea, Laos, & Vietnam,” led by FPIF
Co-Director Emira Woods.
e panelists, who are artists and social activists from Korea, Laos, Burma, and
Vietnam, will explore the unique ability of art to bring collective experiences of
suffering into the public discourse. eir own experiences and work have touched
deeply on the issues of how, through art, traumatic individual memories can be woven
into a larger context of community grief, reconciliation, and healing.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Message for President Obama from Aung Din at US Campaign for Burma --

http://www.irrawaddy.org/interview_show.php?art_id=14959

Panel on War, Memory and Representation and Art -- in Burma, Korea, Laos and Vietnam. Jan 28, 2009.

“War, Memory and Representation in Art: Burma, Korea, Laos, & Vietnam”
A panel discussion organized by the Institute for Policy Studies
Date: January 28, 2009
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Location: DC Peace Mural Exhibition
3336 M Street, NW (Georgetown)
Washington, DC 20007
Website: http://www.ips-dc.org/events/1008
Contact: Kathryn Zickuhr, kathryn.zickuhr@gmail.com
Please join us on January 28 at the Washington DC Peace Mural Exhibition for a powerful
discussion of the representation of conflict and suffering in art.
In the forum “War, Memory and Representation in Art: Burma, Korea, Laos, & Vietnam,”
panelists Kyi May Kaung, Annabel Park, Channapha Khamvongsa, and Anna Huong will explore
the unique ability of art to bring collective experiences of suffering into the public discourse. e
discussion will be moderated by FPIF Co-Director Emira Woods.
e panelists’ own experiences and work have touched deeply on the relationship between art and
social justice. In her work with Legacies of War, Channapha found that “the integration of
storytelling, art, and performance are critical in breaking the silence” that surrounded wartime
experiences. rough art, traumatic individual memories can be woven into a larger context of
community grief, reconciliation, and healing. “e acknowledgement of a shared journey and
struggle could lead to collective strength and power,” Channapha says.
Such memories of conflict and suffering are not confined to the past, but resonate with current
events. In 1991, when the first Iraq War began, Huong says, “I came face to face with the memory of
the war and my demons. e numbed grief inside leaked out. e memories poured out and ached
within me.” Huong responded to this “call to action” with her famous Peace Mural, where the
discussion will take place. e mural includes nearly 2000 paintings, and when fully presented,
stands eight feet tall and 600 feet long. e exhibit runs until January 30.
About the panelists:
• Artist and researcher Kyi May Kaung was born in Rangoon, Burma where she was an Associate
Professor of Economics from 1978 to 1988. Her Ph.D. dissertation, from the University of
Pennsylvania, is on the erosion of human rights and the devastating effects of central control in
Burma. She is based in Washington DC and is now an independent scholar, writer, and artist. Since
1997, she has worked in international radio, and with e Burma Fund as a Senior Researcher. An
interview Kyi May conducted with Huong at FPIF can be found here.
• Filmmaker and activist Annabel Park emigrated to the US when she was nine years old. She is
known for her innovative work combining new media and grassroots organizing. In 2007, she was
the national coordinator for 121 Coalition and organized the historic grassroots-netroots lobbying
campaign to successfully pass House Resolution 121, the "comfort women" resolution addressing the
issue of girls and women trafficked into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during WWII.
• Channapha Khamvongsa, co-founder and executive director of Legacies of War, was born in
Vientiane, Laos. In 1979, at the age of 6, her family fled Laos to Nong Khai refugee camp in
ailand. Her family eventually immigrated to the United States in 1980. In 2004, Ms.
Khamvongsa co-founded Legacies of War, which uses art, culture, education, community organizing,
and dialogue to bring people together and create healing and transformation out of the wreckage of
war. Channapha formerly worked in the Peace and Social Justice Unit of the Ford Foundation and is
a current board member of the Mine Advisory Group - America.
• For more than 30 years, Huong has communicated her message for peace as an artist, former
journalist, mother, Vietnam War refugee and fervent social activist. Huong was a 25-year-old mother
and Vietnamese journalist when she escaped her war-torn country in 1975 on the eve before the fall
of Saigon, catching one of the last refugee life boats and wearing only one shoe while clutching her
infant son. She soon embarked upon a journey that took her to Guam, then to California, and
finally to Alaska, where she turned to art. Nearly 15 years in the making, Huong’s Peace Mural is the
culmination of searing memories that bring history to life and depict the universal pain of war and
hope for peace.
Moderator: Emira Woods, Co-Director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies,
is an expert in U.S.–Africa relations. Prior to joining the IPS staff, Emira was Program Manager for
the Committee on Development Policy and Practice at InterAction, serving as a principle staff
contact for advocacy at the UN, the international financial institutions, USAID, and Treasury.
Foreign Policy In Focus (FPIF) is a think tank for research, analysis, and action that brings together 600 scholars,
advocates, and activists who strive to make the United States a more responsible global partner. e Institute for
Policy Studies is a multi-issue research center that has transformed ideas into action for peace, justice, and the
environment for over four decades.

Fat lady sings and looks beautiful -- Aretha Franklin --sings My Country Tis of Thee --

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/01/22/lkl.aretha.franklin/index.html

Love the hat, the big grey coat, the pearldrop earrings.

Former Rangoon University -- literally falling apart --

Those who destroy higher education destroy themselves.

http://moemaka.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3128&Itemid=1


How bloody awful -- talk about the destruction of higher education in Burma.

These pictures say it all, don't they.

I'm so glad at least I can see Chiangmai University in Northern Thailand about twice a year in its teak forest and with flowering trees depending on the season.

Last year I saw a beautiful ngu zat (pink cassia).

My friends Kyaw Aung Lwin and Kaythwe Khine started Moe Ma Kha (Don't kowtow to the sky), then went on to work in international radio.

Kyaw Aung Lwin is the excellent poet Maru. But they only appear once a year. I'm still using lunch box she gave me last summer, to pack chinpaun (fried rosselle leaves) in. This was before my old frig was replaced, so sea food I bought at waterfront went bad.

I translated a poem of the late Naing Win Swe that features the Moe Ma Kha plant(sort of a water weed in Moeii or Thaung Yin River).

Naing Win Swe was a communist in the jungle and his poem is about how the revolutionaries tortured each other, (near) drowning each other in the river as punishment -- a sort of water boarding -- it was the first poem I broadcast in 1997, and won me an immediate poetry audience inside Burma.

Yesterday I went to see Defiance, about Polish Jews hiding in forest, staring Daniel Craig and another actor, who were both speaking Polish sometimes in the movie, maybe not that well, my Polish is not good enough for me to tell, but his "Polish accented" English sounded very real.

I was in Poland in 1969-70 for eight months, mostly over the winter. Spring barely started in May.

Copyright Kyi May Kaung

Monday, January 19, 2009

In Thailand, Australian author jailed for criticizing the King --

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/01/19/thai.jail/index.html

Wonderful style blog -- The Sartorialist -- how to dress with style and imagination --

http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/2005_09_01_archive.html

Designers visualize what Michele Obama should wear to the Ball --

http://www.wwd.com/fashion-news/dressing-the-first-lady-1875632#/slideshow/article/1875632/1876331

Aung San Suu Kyi wins Trumpet of Conscience Award --

http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=14948

Inaugural Panel sells exclusive TV rights -- from Washington Post --

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/16/AR2009011604921.html

Not so good.

If you can't afford $50 a month for cable, you won't see it.

More from The Huffington Post -- from a woman who tried to find it as it was happening live.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-brison/the-audacity-of-the-presi_b_158963.html

Finally I've found a U Tube from The American Prospect site -- watch it fast --

http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive?month=01&year=2009&base_name=in_defense_of_pete_seeger

Let Freedom Ring -- Obama Inaugural Concert Jan 18, 2009 -- sung by Josh Groban and Heather Headly --

http://disembedded.wordpress.com/2009/01/19/the-obama-inaugural-concert-josh-groban-sings-with-the-d-c-gay-mens-chorus/

Archival tape of Marion Anderson, who visited Rangoon, Burma in the U Nu years.

Move like First Families --

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/19/obama.move/index.html

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Kevin Kline in Cyrano on PBS --

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601088&sid=alR6uERB40G4&refer=muse

A very good translation, I thought, and no wonder -- translation is by Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange)

It sounds like Shakespeare and totally different from the blah film versions I saw before.

Everything in this production is perfect.

Kyi May Kaung

Kyi May Kaung's collages at Suriya Gallery mentioned in Chiangmai Mail.



Bird meets Dolphins -- collage copyright Kyi May Kaung -- photo copyright Marisa Charles.

http://www.chiangmai-mail.com/305/features.shtml#hd2


Chiangmai Mail did not put the artist's names with the paintings. I would have liked to know who painted those beautiful images, especially the ones done with a palette knife.

Thank you Nance, Ko Aung and All who helped me cart pictures back and forth --

It's a great honor to have one's work "hung" with so many brilliant paintings.

Kyi May Kaung

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Keep those beautiful old coats and clothes -- Bill Cunningham from New York Times --

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/01/04/fashion/20090104-street-feature/index.html?th&emc=th

Only problem -- closet space.

I still have old coat from 20 years ago and it works fine --

one quilted coat I gave away and one (picked from garbage!) -- a good black wool long coat worth about $100, that was too small for me -- I gave both of these to refugees/visitors/interns from Burma.

All a problem of knowing what to throw away and what to keep.

I will never throw away re-cycled wearable art that I make myself from heirloom clothes and linen.

Kyi May Kaung

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Another memoir on Oprah Show found to be (partially) made up --

http://www.tnr.com/booksarts/story.html?id=f458c2c8-0d4f-4dc7-8cba-15e465c2201a&p=1

Why was it marketed as a memoir?

Why did he not write it as a novel (fiction)?

Oprah Show and book and film etc audiences also want "memoirs."

Sensationalism is the culprit.

I can think of several examples from the Burmese survivor/media world.

Kyi May Kaung

"My skull" will be up at Cranial Vault -- in Feb.

February 2009
February 4 through February 27

Cranial Vault www.cranialvault.org

at Space 7-10 Kefa Cafe

963 Bonifant St. (near corner of Georgia Av. in Silver Spring, MD) a few blocks uphill from Silver Spring Metro.

Kyi May Kaung

Good non-conformist blog - how to travel on a shoestring etc.

http://chrisguillebeau.com/3x5/about-chris/

Call for all bloggers and poets to stand in solidarity with Burmese who were jailed for up to 68 years in kangaroo courts --

http://burmanewscasts.blogspot.com/2009/01/new-years-resolutions-for-nld.html

Friday, January 02, 2009

Chinese quail farming family become billionaires --- all due to Deng Xiao-ping's 1978 Reforms



Pig Butler at Memphis Airport -- photo copyright Kyi May Kaung


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/02/business/worldbusiness/02yuan.html?th&emc=th
from New York Times.

Additional note:

Deng said:

"It's glorious to get rich."

"If you open the windows, some flies might get in."

and apparently "We must allow some people to get rich first."

Deng's economic reforms of 1978 were accompanied by a downsizing of the People's Liberation Army(PLA)and "a more professional army."

Now that the global economy is in Recession (with a capital R)

China is looking to a new economic model, perhaps led by the domestic market and satisfying its domestic demand from over a billion population. Maybe its industries will have to change its product mixes.

It is also on better terms with India.

I hope it won't draw down or draw out its money in U.S. Treasury Bills, which are now propping up the U.S. government, which is attempting to bail-out or being asked to bail out U.S. industries and financial institutions in trouble.

Food for thought for the New Year.

Notes -- copyright Kyi May Kaung

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Paintings by Qi Baishi --

http://www.chinapage.com/qibai/qibai.html

So simple, so direct, so timeless, so beautiful.

Kyi May Kaung

Beautiful and authentic Qianlong Emperor's Retirement Palace restored in Beijing -- from New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/12/31/arts/design/20090101_FORBIDDEN_index.html

Nothing like the stupid and downright destructive "restorations" done by the junta in Bagan (spelled "Pagan" before) in Burma --