The punk band Rebel Riot: The band was founded in 2007 during the period when the military junta cracked down on the so-called “Saffron Revolution” launched by Buddhist monks. Thousands of demonstrators were arrested then, and soldiers were ordered to fire upon their own people. People in Burma are still deeply shocked by these events.
In Burma, punk is far more than just a superficial copy of its Western counterpart. Here, what is probably the most rebellious of all subcultures in the Southeast Asian country is going up against one of the world’s most authoritarian regimes. Punk gives young Burmese a chance to symbolically spit in the face of the hated government, which took power in 2010 in the wake of what was widely considered a fraudulent election. Although the government has shown initial signs of greater open-mindedness, which included the release of political prisoners in recent months, Burma is still far from a state that embraces the rule of law.
From the article Burma’s Punk Scene Fights Repression Underground.
Residents walk past shops selling bananas in Yangon on March 29. More than two decades after its stolen election win, Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party is set for a dramatic political comeback in Myanmar polls which could herald an easing of sanctions. The upcoming vote is seen as an important vote of confidence for the country as it continues on the road to political and diplomatic reform.
[Credit : Christophe Archambault / AFP / Getty Images]
Burma’s Punk Scene Continues to Fight Repression Underground
By Alexander Dluzak, in Rangoon, SPIEGEL
The punk band Rebel Riot stands on a makeshift stage in an abandoned restaurant on the outskirts of downtown Rangoon, Burma’s largest city. They wear their hair spiked straight up and studded leather jackets. “Saida! Saida! Saida!” singer Kyaw Kyaw barks into the microphone, “Resistance! Resistance! Resistance!” The drummer pounds away at his set while the guitars reverberate through the room. “No fear! No indecision! Rage against the system of the oppressors!” Kyaw Kyaw howls.