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Defiance, civil resistance and experiences of violence under military rule in Myanmar

Couverture – Defiance civil resistance and experiences MyanmarDirigé par Carine Jaquet
IRASEC, Bangkok
Juin 2024, 292 p.
ISBN 978-2-35596-079-6
English Language Texte anglais

The coup of February 1st, 2021 in Myanmar brought misery to many millions of people across the country. Widespread opposition to military rule also inspired a variety of resourceful and creative gestures of defiance among people across the country, across almost every sector and across different ethnic groups, with many leading roles assumed by youth. While the mainstream revolution self-identifies with violent means, the majority of people have opted for civilian resistance, more or less openly expressed. Attempts to describe the impact of the coup on everyday life highlights the multi-dimensional nature of the resistance, and the diversity of expression in an extremely constrained context.

This book gathers a selection of eight research and visual essays to reflect on the experiences of Myanmar civilians since the coup. It also analyses the limited space left for civic engagement and the diverse shapes that the non-violent political opposition can take. Through diverse and compelling contributions, the authors shed light on emerging local regional dynamics and youth politics which have come to the fore in many resistance organisations. To visualise these complex realities, the book contains photographic and cartoon contributions to portray events through the eyes of engaged artists.

Their combined effort seeks to reflect various political, social and humanitarian aspects of the impact of the coup on individuals and organisations. A common thread is the experience of physical or symbolic violence, across the country and at all socioeconomic levels — a factor that some authors suggest could partly explain the radicalisation of many anti-coup activists, especially among youth.

Published by the Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia (IRASEC) in 2024, this anthology of essays was edited by Carine Jaquet, with the contributions of : Alex Aung ; Francesco Buscemi ; Anne Décobert ; Pai Cheimt Khaung ; Kyaw Kyaw ; Nyi Nyi Kyaw ; Michi Emma ; Matthew S. Maguire ; Thel Mon ; Kyle Nyana ; Haymarn Soe Nyunt ; Joseph Phan ; Laure Siegel ; Susan ; T.H.A. ; Visual Rebellion ; and Tamas Wells.


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Introduction :
Defiance, Civil Resistance and Experiences of Violence under Military Rule in Myanmar (Carine Jaquet)


Part. 1 – The Coup and its Pathway to Violence

  • Chapter 1 : Myanmar Streets of Protest (February – April 2021) (Pictures by The Myanmar Project Collective / Visual Rebellion Myanmar)
  • Chapter 2 : Understanding the Logic of Post-coup Resistance in Myanmar (Francesco Buscemi and Matthew S. Maguire)
  • Chapter 3 : The Marginalisation of Student and Youth Politics in Myanmar (Nyi Nyi Kyaw)
  • Chapter 4 : Two Years of Life in Post-Coup Myanmar (2022 – 2023) (Cartoons by Michi Emma and T.H.A / Visual Rebellion Myanmar)


Part. 2 – Civil Society and the Challenges of Non-Violent Resistance

  • Chapter 5 : Redefining Humanitarianism ? Civil Society Responses to Myanmar’s Political and Humanitarian ‘Crisis’ (Anne Décobert and Tamas Wells)
  • Chapter 6 : Laws as Weapons of Oppression : Challenges and Resilience of Myanmar Civil Society in the Post-Coup (Kyaw Kyaw)


Part. 3 – Impacts of the Coup on Civilian Lives

  • Chapter 7 : Collectivism and Everyday Resistance in Anyar (Kyle Nyana, Alex Aung, Joseph Phan and Thel Mon)
  • Chapter 8 : Facing Corporate Irresponsibility : Politisation and Struggle of Myanmar Garment Workers Pre- and Post-Coup (Haymarn Soe Nyunt, Pai Cheimt Khaung, Susan and Laure Siegel)