Saturday, September 24, 2011

Today - Burmese poet Kyi May Kaung reads in front of Burmese embassy - 100,000 Poets for Change

Setting Sun - digitally enhanced photograph, Copyright Kyi May Kaung

Biggest poetry reading tomorrow - also in front of Burmese embassy
Friday, September 23, 2011 1:50 PM
"Kyi May Kaung"
"kyi may kaung"
"kyi may kaung"

I will be reading in front of Burmese Embassy, including "Eskimo Paradise" which features Aung San Suu Kyi in the poem. This poem was in the Norton anthology.

100 Thousand Poets for Change DC: Poetry Walk of Shame

Saturday, September 24, 2011

11 am

Meet at the Embassy of Yemen

2319 Wyoming Avenue, NW

Washington, DC

Walking distance to Woodley Park & Dupont Circle Metro Stations on the Red Line

For more info: 202-787-5210,

Even while poets in 450 cities in 95 countries are organizing the largest poetry reading in history September 24, poets in too many countries around the world will be silent, out of fear for their safety.

Join Split This Rock and Foreign Policy in Focus, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies, as we give voice to some of those poets for one day.

We’ll take a short walk to the embassies of three countries -- Yemen, Burma, and Turkmenistan -- where citizens’ rights of free speech have been suppressed, where poets, writers, and other freedom lovers have been threatened, arrested, and murdered for their words and their activism. And we'll stand with the poets and writers of those few places where a few hints of openings are lighting the darkness.

As we stand in witness outside the embassies, we’ll read poems by poets from those nations so that they, too, may participate in 100 Thousand Poets for Change.

Gather at 11 am at the Yemeni Embassy, 2319 Wyoming Avenue, NW. It’s walking distance from the red line Metro, halfway between the Woodley Park and Dupont Circle stops.

100 Thousand Poets for Change is the brainchild of Bay Area poet and publisher Michael Rothenberg. Events planned for September 24 range from poetry and peace gatherings in strife-torn Kabul and Jalalabad to 20 collective poetic actions in Mexico City where poets, painters, filmmakers and musicians will spread the word of peace and non-violence throughout the city with day long readings and workshops.

There are over 270 events in the United States, 29 in India, 7 in Nigeria, 17 in Canada, 19 in Great Britain, 5 in China, with more being added each day.

All those involved are hoping, through their actions and events, to seize and redirect the political and social dialogue of the day and turn the narrative of civilization towards peace and sustainability.

100 Thousand Poets for Change


Sarah Browning


Split This Rock

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

a hundred thousand poets for change - Kyi May Kaung & other poets will read in front of Yemen Embassy, Burmese Embassy etc with DC Poets Against War -

Burmese democracy leader sees her son, whom she had not seen for a very long time, at Rangoon Airport, Burma.

Photo from Internet - Suu Kyi and the other over 2000 political prisoners and their families and the people of Burma have been denied freedom of expression, and often, freedom of association.

Sept 24, 2011

11 AM meet in front of Yemen Embassy, 2319 Wyoming Av, NW DC

close to Woodley Park and Dupont Circle metros


Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Ph.D. thesis about Burmese authoritarianism and resistence - from GWU

Only other dissertation besides mine which attempts theory building on a macro-scale and addresses authoritarianism in Burma.

Kyi May Kaung

--- On Sat, 9/17/11,

Subject: "Challenge and Survival: Political Resistance in Authoritarian Burma": A freshly archived PhD thesis
Date: Saturday, September 17, 2011, 5:31 AM

Author: Linnea M. Beatty,
Title: "Challenge and Survival: Political Resistance in Authoritarian Burma"
Place: George Washington University
Date: August 31, 2011
Supervisor: Professor Henry Hale


Dissertation Abstract:

"Burma‘s dictatorial government maintains its power by coupling
political repression and social control methods to cultivate a
compliant citizenry. Yet non-violent and violent opposition to
military rule continues. Armed resistance groups began fighting for
independence and autonomy from the state prior to Burma‘s
independence. Large-scale protests occurred in every decade since
military takeover in 1962, the most recent were the monks’ protests in
September 2007.
How do oppositions maintain their ability to challenge an
authoritarian state over long periods? Authoritarian conditions
necessitate that opposition movements resist by utilizing two
imperatives: challenging the regime and ensuring their own survival.
Resistance in Burma encompasses the offensive position of the
challenge imperative and the defensive position of the survival

Challenge activities confront the authority of the governing regime;
the authoritarian government and its entities are the primary
audience, although it is beneficial if other segments of society
witness the action. Oppositional activities do more than just
challenge the state. Oppositions conduct activities that also ensure
their survival in the face of repression. Political activities serve
to signal in-group solidarity, transfer information to other facets of
the political movement and encourage long-term participation. For an
opposition to survive repression, member retention is critical and
activist family networks help individuals overcome regime-constraints
to participation.

The challenge and survival imperatives demonstrate that protest does
not erupt ‘from out of nowhere.’ Over-relying on protest as a proxy
measure of the existence of opposition overlooks the wide range of
resistance options available to discontented citizens, especially
those living under authoritarian rule. Using a protest events dataset
and interviews with activists, soldiers and citizens of Burma, this
dissertation examines the range of political resistance used in Burma
to challenge the dictatorial regime."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Quote of the day - Dictators in Gold Braids - from Pablo Neruda

The delicate dictator is talking
with top hats, gold braid, and collars.

Pablo Neruda - who spent some time in Rangoon, Burma before World War II

Now the Burmese dictators are in civilian clothes.

David Bowie's hit song Change - sound track for so-called change in Burmese capital Naypyitaw or King's Royal City -

quite brilliant, esp the stuttering :)

Google map of Naypyitaw -

NPT on wiki-

More photos of NPT while under construction


--- On Thu, 9/15/11, wrote:

Subject: To wet your appetite (if at all!) - from my next essay - Change, change, change, changes...
Date: Thursday, September 15, 2011, 10:01 AM

For the Burma and Burmese sceptics, David Bowie’s “Changes” bowie/changes.html

both the
lyrics and the music, may be more meaningful to ponder and pleasant to
our ears than the Brahminic verses about the supposedly fast-paced
changes in Naypyidaw .

Here is my favourite stanza:

“I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence and
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're going through”

The Wiki entry says, Bowies’ 40-year-old lyrics may be read as “a
manifesto for his chameleonic personality, sexual ambiguity, and
frequent reinventions of his musical style throughout the 1970s”.

The current Brahminic discourse of Naypyidaw’s changes with their
dizzying paces is neither as sexy nor as ambiguous.

Beneath the mirage of changes, the chameleonic seniors and juniors in
generals’ uniform are simply reinventing their grip on society,
economy and politics.

Notes by Zarni.

Bodies hang from bridge in Mexico as warning to bloggers -

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Found poem - a traffick report concerning "Burma Road"

Poetry anthology Fire in the Soul which featured Tin Moe's poem Desert Years, translated by Kyi May Kaung.

Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia
September 13, 2011
Injuries result from head-on collision

Associated Press

AMERICUS — An afternoon collision on Burma Road Thursday resulted injuries to one driver, according to Georgia State Patrol Post 10.

According to the accident report, Cheyenne D. Cromer, 17, of Ellaville was

driving a 1992 Chevrolet Cavalier in the south bound lane of Burma Road crossed into the opposite lane, failing to negotiate a curve. The Chevrolet struck a 1977 GMC C3500 pick-up driven by Eddie W. Rogers, 48, of Andersonville. After the impact both vehicles rotated off of the road way, each striking opposite embankments. The 17 year old driver of the Chevrolet was transported by Air -Evac to Macon Medical Center for treatment for non-incapacitating injuries. She was cited for driving on the wrong side of the road. Rogers was not transported, according to the report.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Kyi May Kaung's poem - War Against Roaches, published in Counterpunch -

Photo copyright Kyi May Kaung

In Burma, Four Cuts Campaigns have been carried out against the ethnic groups by the central government as a declared policy since at least the mid-70s.



Published excerpt from Kyi May Kaung's book length poem - She-Monkey goes West

Written in 1994.

Kyi May Kaung

:) Kaung is not a valid Scrabble word - poem

Memory Rolls - artwork and photo copyright Kyi May Kaung

:) My name is not a valid Scrabble word

It’s a valid Burmese word.

kaung = good

Copyright Kyi May Kaung

re-posting - VOA coverage of Kyi May Kaung's art show - Mostly Burmese Monks - 2009

Burma News Group post of correspondence ref pro-Burmese military regime conference in DC in April of 2011

It is as you see it.

Kyi May Kaung

Kyi May Kaung cited in Andrew Selth's 2007 survey of Burma Studies

Thursday, September 01, 2011

new -supposed self portrait of van Gogh -

It is a portrait of van Gogh, but not a self portrait,

The "hand" or touch is completely different as are the use of colors, which more resembles Renoir's soft touch.

It's a pastel and van Gogh hardly ever did pastels.

I think it's a portrait by Donnadieu (spelling?) as the signature on the back says it is.

Kyi May Kaung.

Denver Art Museum to present exclusive Van Gogh exhibit

Burma news wrap--MAH in Kachin State-- 40 SAC killed, hostages kept etc, AAPP wins McBride Peace Award, Rangoon,Dawbon Dalan   ...