Building A Civil Society In Burma

by Rodney Dickson


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I am very excited to see our President Obama on his trip to Burma to support the development of a free and open society there. This is therefore an ideal time for you to support my project - Building A Civil Society In Burma.

Please let me explain more: Burma has been described as the second most restrictive country in the world after North Korea but very recently things seem to be changing there and following the release from house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi and her renewed participation in political life, a degree of change seems to be happening. As that country develops towards a civil society, people who have never known freedom will find it difficult to embrace the new opportunities that will come to them. Those that can use their creativity and think freely will encourage this development.

I will do a 3 week contemporary art workshop with 50 participants in New Zero Gallery, Rangoon, Burma from May 1st, 2013. Through the spectrum of Contemporary Art the workshops will enable the participants to be creative not only as artists but to search for other possibilities in life by thinking out of the box. The workshops will explore many elements of art - drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, performance, film, music, and sound.

I will work with a group of international artists who will lead workshops in their field of expertise. These artists will include: myself, Martin Seck (USA), Siri Kollandsrud (Norway), Jumaadi (Indonesia), Nguyen Trinh Thi (Vietnam), and Patrick Watson (Canada). If we reach or maximum funding goal, we will also include: Morgan Meis (USA), Juliet Hone (USA), and Stefany Goldberg (USA).

The final project will be a culmination of all of the individual workshops and the participants and instructors will create an original performance including all of these elements. This will be filmed and I will use that film in my own project which will be shown in New York in 2014 - called Entertainment.

Patrick Watson will play a free concert in Rangoon and the 50 project participants will be part of his show, the music and concept for the show will come through his workshops. Basically, the more money we can raise the better the project will be. If we can get up to our maximum funding goal, this will enable more artists to join and therefore bring a wider scope of expertise to the project through the workshops we will lead.