For ‘Burma Storybook’ the filmmakers Petr Lom and Corinne van Egeraat selected a number of poets on the basis of their diverse perspectives on Burmese politics, society, hidden meaning and humour. Through the poetry and first person biographies of these poets, the three parts of the project (documentary, book and exhibition) offer a unique picture of Myanmar today and of its recent political and economic transition.
The poets include the 70-year-old Maung Aung Pwint, who was imprisoned for years, the former student activist, artist and poet San Zaw Htway, and the young feminist Mae Yway. Besides the portraits made by Dana Lixenberg, the exhibition also includes film fragments that have never been screened before in which the poets read from their work.
The book ‘Burma Storybook’
The book ‘Burma Storybook’ is based on the documentary to provide a platform for the most prominent poets of Myanmar. It focuses on their portraits, poems and personal stories. The launch of the book ‘Burma Storybook’ will take place on Sunday 28 May during the opening of the exhibition in the Kunsthal and the 6th Poetry + Art Gallery Tour. The book is designed by Jeroen Jas (Studio Jas) and published by ZINdoc (ISBN 90-9030303-1, 200 pp., English/Burmese). For more information: www.burmastorybook.com
Sunday 28 May 2017, 15.30 hrs opening of ‘Burma Storybook’ and 6th Poetry + Art Gallery Tour
The exhibition will be opened by Bas Kwakman, director of Poetry International, in the presence of two festival poets, Mae Yway (Burma) and Harry Man (UK), who will read poems. The book ‘Burma Storybook’ will be launched by photographer Dana Lixenberg. Bruno Ferro Xavier da Silva will provide a musical intermezzo. The press is warmly invited, please register via email@example.com
6th Poetry + Art Gallery Tour (31 May – 4 June)
Burma Storybook is part of the 6th Poetry + Art Gallery Tour, in which more than twenty Rotterdam galleries and art institutions collaborate. At different points in the city, the Tour presents work by artists for whom language, the word and poetry are an important source of inspiration or form a part of their work. As they crisscross Rotterdam on foot or by bike, visitors can explore the language installations, paintings, illustrations, artists’ books and language experiments of established artists and promising talent. In the galleries the exhibitions alternate with readings by poets and performances. All the routes to different locations in North, West, East and South Rotterdam depart each day from the Ro Theater (William Boothlaan 8) at 13.30 hrs. Each tour is free of charge, and a bicycle can even be provided if requested. For more information: www.poetryinternational.nl
Screening of director’s cut of documentary ‘Burma Storybook’, Friday 2 June Ro Theater
‘Burma Storybook’ (2017) premièred at the beginning of this year during the International Film Festival Rotterdam. The documentary is a breathtaking journey through an astonishing country in which time has stood still. The stories and poems in the documentary circle around the most famous living dissident poet – Maung Aung Pwint. He was imprisoned for many years for his poetry and activism.
The film has been shown at international film festivals all over the world. The director’s cut of ‘Burma Storybook’ will be screened on Friday 2 June at 13:00 hrs in the Ro Theater during the 48th Poetry International Festival. Tickets are available from www.poetryinternational.nl