Speaking Out Through Art ABB/U.S. Arts Envoy project
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We have just returned from central Myanmar where we began our project, “Speaking Out Through Art,” an ongoing series of art workshops created to give young people an opportunity to make their voices heard on issues of local concern. During the month of December, we traveled to the Monywa, Taungyyi, and Mandalay, in central Myanmar. Through hands-on workshops we guided the participants in making art that expressed their ideas and concerns on pressing social issues affecting their communities.
While the three groups differed in many ways, they shared numerous concerns and an eagerness to be part of the solution to Myanmar’s problems. We gave them presentations on how artists around the world have responded to the issues they identified : territory and identity, environmental devastation, and violence against women. Over the duration of the workshops, our Burmese Artist Assistants, Kyi Wynn and Ko Z, played a vital role communicating ideas and demonstrating techniques.
Using enthusiasm, productivity and dedication to future action as a yardstick, we feel that these workshops were a very successful beginning to our project. We are delighted to report that when the culminating exhibition of work created by our Monywa, Taunggyi and Mandalay participants opened at the Jefferson Center in Mandalay, this evaluation was shared by numerous community viewers. Details and photos will be coming soon!
Pamela Blotner Mie Preckler
We would like to thank the following people for all their support and dedication:
Winifred Hofstetter, Cultural Affairs Officer, the U.S. Embassy, Yangon.
Jennifer Schuett, Cultural Affairs Officer, the U.S. Embassy, Yangon.
Tun Aung (Bryan), Principal of the Cherry Myay Academy, Taunggyi
Khun Khit, a teacher at the Taunggyi Youth Center.
Wai Moe Naing, community leader, Monywa
May Me Me Moe, President of Monywa University Student Union, Monywa
Saw Kyin Sein, Director, the Jefferson Center, Mandalay
Moet Khaing Coordinator, Mandalay
Our deep gratitude to: Kyi Wynn, and Ko Z, who agreed to
work with us as Artist Associates on this project.