Exiled Burmese artist: “Self-censorship is second nature”

Interviews with two Burmese artists: Chaw Ei Thein, who now lives in exile in the United States, on the situation in Burma in 2012, and Htein Lin, who describes how he maintained his artistic work while in prison.

Chaw Ei Thein was briefly imprisoned after having made ​​a political performance piece in the streets of Rangoon together with the artist Htein Lin. She fled to the U.S. in 2009 and was awarded political asylum. freeDimensional, an organisation that helps exiled artists, was able to help Chaw Ei Thein by getting information and contacts from the organisation’s global network of art spaces, human rights organisations, and social service providers to help acclimate her to her new home in New York and continue her activist art.

In another article in New York Times, the Burmese artist Htein Lin, who was imprisoned in Burma 1998-2004, describes how he maintained his artistic work while in prison.

Bloomberg Businessweek – 18 September 2012:
Jail, Censors Leave Imprint on Exiled Myanmar Artist
By Shaun Randol

World Policy Blog – 1 November 2010:
Chaw Ei Thein Fights Burma’s Junta with Performance and Paintings/strong>
By Vivian Lee

The New York Times – 13 August 2007:
From a Burmese Prison, a Chronicle of Pain in Paint
By Jane Perlez


Chaw Ei Thein: Performance in Toronto


Chaw Ei Thein: Performance in Contemporary Burmese Art – Ideas & Ideals


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