Artists in Myanmar are protesting for democracy throughout the country

Words by Alessandra Bellomo
February 17, 2021

After the coup d’etat last February 1, that overthrew Myanmar’s political leader Aung San Suu Kyi, artists all over the country have begun to protest against the new regime. The coup leader General Min Aung Hlaing seized control of the government, refusing to accept the election of the National League for Democracy and its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who was put under arrest together with other politicians. With the country now under martial law and nighttime raids and arrests, artists organised protests using their skills to spread the message of the opposition Civil Disobedience Movement or CDM.

The symbol of the resistance has become the three-fingered salute made famous by a popular literary saga, now through all the artistic media. Artists created and distributed pins and other objects related to the opposition, posted artworks and videos online and on social networks; painted graffiti mocking up the coup’s leader or referencing Aung San Suu Kyi; organised street marches with posters, like the one by the Association of Myanmar Contemporary Art, that also launched a collective photo project capturing people with the three-fingered salute.


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