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Out of the Shadows: A Night in Myanmar

Myanmar (pictured) is one of the countries we are focusing on in our 2016 literature programme

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To mark the launch of Ellen Wiles’ book Saffron Shadows and Salvaged Scripts: Literary Life in Myanmar Under Censorship and in Transition, we invite you to a night to explore and celebrate contemporary Myanmar culture. The evening will commence with a book talk and reading and will proceed with performance, delicious and complimentary Burmese food from the Mandalay Golden Myanmar Restaurant in London, as well as Burmese film and art. It’ll be a wonderful snapshot of a fast-changing country and a highly topical event given the recent landmark election in which Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy achieved a landslide victory.

Saffron Shadows tells the story of a secret literary culture that has recently emerged in Myanmar. Until 2012, the country was ruled for 50 years by a repressive regime, which enforced strict reading and writing restrictions. Now these restrictions are being lifted, giving rise to a new era in the country’s literature and literary culture. While living in Myanmar in 2013, Ellen Wiles sought out the best of its contemporary writers and writing to begin uncovering the country’s remarkable literary life and history. This book contains the experiences and recent output of nine Myanmar writers spanning three generations, featuring interviews and English-language translations of their work, along with political, legal and artistic explorations. It includes men and women, fiction and poetry, reflecting the ripples of political and cultural change as they have moved across different groups and genres. The result is a rare portrait of a people and place in transition.

Guernica Magazine recently published a chapter from Saffron Shadows ahead of the book’s launch on its website here. The chapter introduces the life of Win Tin, who was a writer, journalist, editor, and politician who co-founded Myanmar’s NLD party with Aung San Suu Kyi and was a political prisoner in the country for nearly twenty years.

Ellen Wiles is a British writer, curator and scholar specialising in literary culture and ethnography. She lives in London and tweets @ellenwiles. Read more about Ellen on her blog here.

Don’t miss this fascinating event, which will also be the perfect antidote to those January blues.

Ahead of the election in Myanmar earlier this month, Asia House web editor Naomi Canton interviewed The Right Hon Hugo Swire MP, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, about his thoughts on the political situation in the country. Read her interview here.

Details

Date:
January 19, 2016
Time:
18:00 - 21:00
Event Categories:
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Organizer

Asia House

Venue

Asia House
63 New Cavendish Street, London, W1G 7LP United Kingdom

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