Myanmar/Burma: Censors pull film from human rights festival

Myanmar’s film censorship board banned the film ‘Twilight over Burma’ on the grounds that it could “harm ethnic unity” and the “image of the military” as it tells the real-life story of an Austrian woman who married an ethnic Shan prince during the early days of the country’s independence and 1962 military coup, reported The […]

Myanmar/Burma: Poet sentenced to six months in prison for defamation

Poet Maung Saung Kha was sentenced on 24 May 2016 to six months in prison for defaming former president Thein Sein in a poem he posted on his Facebook page in October 2015, reported PEN International on 25 May 2016. The poet was arrested on 5 November 2015, charged for online defamation under the country’s Telecommunications […]

Myanmar/Burma: Poet arrested for posting ‘defamatory’ poem

According to PEN Myanmar, poet Maung Saung Kha was arrested on 5 November 2015 for defaming the president in a poem he posted on Facebook in early October 2015 in which a line said that he had a portrait of the president tattooed on his penis. The 23-year-old poet published the poem, ‘Image’, on 8 […]

Myanmar/Burma: How censorship shaped an artist

In this 5-minute video film, an artist offers a peek into the underground of Myanmar where artists are taking their non-violent fight for freedom of expression to the streets. “They destroyed our art in a very ruthless way.” A young graffiti artist in Myanmar was censored for using the orange colour – associated with monks […]

Myanmar/Burma: Film and report about The Art of Transition symposium

As Burma transitions from military dictatorship to democracy, Index on Censorship joined with artists, journalists and performers to explore the arts in the country at a symposium in 2013. The Art of Transition Symposium took place in Yangon on 30–31 March 2013. It was the first public discussion of artist freedom of expression in Burma, looking […]

Myanmar/Burma: Freedom of expression in transition | Index on Censorship

The third section of Index on Censorship’s report, ‘Freedom of expression in transition’, is about artistic freedom of expression and censorship within literature, comedy, visual art, performance art, music, and film in Burma. The report is written by Mike Harris, head of advocacy at Index on Censorship, and was published in July 2013. » Shortcut […]

Myanmar/Burma: Artist returns after 18 years of exile, precautiously

Even though government censorship of art has eased in Burma, Win Pe, a leading figure in Burma’s modern arts movement, is still taking precautions. While he displayed 20 colorful paintings of zodiac signs in his exhibition in Rangoon recently, he kept others off the walls in an act of self-censorship, reported The Irrawaddy. “Censorship is […]

Myanmar/Burma: RFI reports of greater freedom of expression for artists

The fact that democracy activist – now politician – Aun San Suu Kyi can have his paintings exhibited at Pansodan Gallery in Myanmar is proof that censorship is at last on the way out, reported Radio France International. “For about the last 50 years we were under the very strong …. censorship. Whenever we [did] […]

Myanmar/Burma: Corporate censorship is gaining control

Thangyat is a traditional form of entertainment performed for the New Year Thingyan Water Festival in Burma / Myanmar which takes place this week. Thangyat was banned by the military government after the uprising in 1988 but was kept alive in exile before being allowed back last year. But corporate censorship is now comfortably stepping […]

Myanmar/Burma: Censorship on art has relaxed, three artists say

“While censorship of print media has ended, restrictions on the visual arts are still officially in place,” said visual artist Maung Khine Mar from Yangon to The Myanmar Times. “Censorship on art has relaxed quite a bit, but they still have a blinkered attitude towards any art that goes beyond Myanmar’s cultural norms, such as […]

Myanmar/Burma: City ban on graffiti art

On 10 December 2012, Yangon city authorities imposed a ban prohibiting anyone from drawing on public buildings, roads and bridges, as well as in schools and parks. Authorities said anyone defying the ban would face an unspecified punishment. According to an article in Huffington Post, Yangon’s graffiti artists said they expected many to continue drawing, […]

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 […]

Myanmar/Burma: Publication of censored fiction novels

“For the past 50 years, literature lovers in Myanmar have been able to read only the bowdlerised versions of the short stories, novels and poems published by local writers, with much of the best material left on the cutting room floor as a result of the relentless assault of the censor’s red pen. But now, […]

Myanmar/Burma: Seven performance artists face charges

Seven Burmese performance artists will face charges in a Mandalay court on 31 May 2012 after they allegedly broke an obscure law last week by performing in public with five foreigners who were subsequently deported. Irrawaddy’s Man Thar Lay writes: Officials from Mandalay’s Police Station No. 2 charged seven artists on Tuesday 29 May 2012 […]

Myanmar/Burma: Comedy film about censorship awarded

An 18-minute comedy film, ‘Ban That Scene!’, makes a daring mockery of Burma’s dreaded film censorship board. It was first shown in Rangoon in January 2012 during a film festival titled ‘Art of Freedom’, where it was awarded with the top prize. The film festival ‘Art of Freedom’ was hosted by opposition leader Aung San […]

Myanmar/Burma: ‘Will censorship of music end?’

In April 2012, BBC News’ reporter in Rangoon, Jonah Fisher, interviewed Ye Ngwe Soe, lead-singer of the punk band No U Turn, which is one of the best-known acts on the Rangoon punk scene, about the restrictions and censorship musicians face in Myanmar / Burma. Here is an excerpt of the article: “For decades all […]

Myanmar/Burma: Filmfestival about censorship: ‘The Art of Freedom’

The Art of Freedom film festival in January 2012 was a first in Burma, pushing the limits of expression, and screening a wide range of films that were uncensored and critical of the former military regime that ruled the country for decades. The Guardian newspaper described the scene at the festival as a daring bid […]



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