Burma: When Women lead the Way to Peace, Freedom and Democracy

Aung San Suu Kyi, Sylvie Brieu

Burma: When Women lead the Way to Peace, Freedom and Democracy

Wednesday, 12 October 2016 - 2:00pm
Venue: 
Deakin Room
Speaker(s): 
Sylvie Brieu (International Reporter and Independent Author)
Convenor: 
Dr M J Walton
Series: 
Southeast Asia Seminar

After fifty years of isolation under the rule of an oppressive military regime, Myanmar is finally opening up in a wave of euphoria. Despite the recent landslide victory of the National League for Democracy in the country’s first free election, the situation remains explosive.
Fighting between the Burmese military and armed ethnic groups continues, hate speech is spreading on social networks and unbearable human tragedies are tearing the country apart Inspired by Aung San Suu Kyi, a number of women activists from different walks of life have united to profoundly transform their society and to build sustainable peace as the country takes its first steps on an arduous and fragile path to democracy. A number of men support them on their long march to freedom.
During several long immersive stays from Rangoon to Central Burma, from East to West and South to North, Sylvie Brieu set out to gain some insights into the reality of Myanmar today through the incisive visions and the positive actions of these change-makers whose voices are underrepresented in the international media landscape.
Who are they? What are their challenges, their fears, their hopes? How can their compelling stories be shared?
Her talk will also address the ethical dilemmas of journalists working in Myanmar today.

A graduate of the Sorbonne and UC Berkeley, Sylvie Brieu is an award-winning journalist, an author and a former Advisory Board member of National Geographic Society’s All Roads Film Project - a leading programme that provided a platform for Indigenous and underrepresented minority-culture storytellers from around the world to showcase their works. 
Her articles - about the Lakota Sioux of South Dakota, the Kawaiweté of Brazil, the Maori of Aoteaora, the Kalash of Pakistan etc. - and first acclaimed book Quand s’élèvent nos voix - des Andes à l’Amazonie, une odyssée en terre indienne (When Our Voices Rise - from the Andes to the Amazon, a journey through Native lands) mainly focus on Native peoples who are working creatively for social change and environmental justice.
Her lecture is based on her most recent book, Birmanie, les chemins de la liberté (Burma: The Roads to Freedom), recently published by Albin Michel in France. It pays tribute to remarkable women leaders from different ethnic groups leading the way to peace, freedom and democracy in Myanmar. 
UNESCO has granted its patronage to When our voices rise - Diversity, Dialogue and Solidarity her long-term editorial and educational project focusing on inspirational game-changers and peace-makers worldwide.
Her work can be viewed at www.sylviebrieu.org