P4P small Grant
“A Farewell to Arms: a two-day Yangon Film School workshop to develop a long-term observational documentary project following the peace process in Myanmar”
Lindsey Merrison (PI), Dr Daw Khin Mar Mar Kyi (Co-I)
For this project the award-winning capacity building institution Yangon Film School in Myanmar joined forces with a number of young Burmese scholars (including those living in conflict areas) and filmmakers to explore – under the tutelage of Dr Khin Mar Mar Kyi (Dr Mar) and peace process experts – how to conduct research to identify themes and protagonists for a series of observational documentaries about the peace process, tentatively titled A Farewell to Arms: Following Myanmar’s Bid for Peace. In this workshop, young research scholars and film-makers from different ethnicities came together with peace process experts for a two-day workshop in Yangon in December 2018, in order to gain an overview of the current peace process in Myanmar and its (state and non-state) actors, as well as to identify potential protagonists for their observational documentaries and refine their methodology.
About the project team
Lindsey Merrison is an Anglo-Burmese filmmaker, who worked as a film critic and curator before joining the film industry as an assistant to the British director Ken Loach in the mid-1980s. Lindsey went on set up her own production company in 1993 and has several award-winning feature length documentaries to her credit – of which Our Burmese Days, Friends in High Places and Nargis are set in Myanmar. Lindsey founded the Yangon Film School in 2005, and in 2015 the non-profit organisation was awarded the Japan Art Association’s Grant for Young Artists Award in (often described as the ‘Nobel prize for the arts’) in recognition of its contributions to the training and development of a new generation of media-makers in Myanmar. Learn more about YFS here; and about the docu-animation training project we helped support in Spring 2018 which led to the Stand Up for Women! Stand Up for Peace! series of animated documentaries researched and produced by the project trainees here.
Dr Mar is an award winning social anthropologist and the producer of an acclaimed documentary, Dreams of Dutiful Daughters (2013); she is currently Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford and is the first senior Burmese academic to be appointed at the University of Oxford. Dr Mar is the winner of one of Australia’s most prestigious academic awards – ‘Excellence in Gender Research’ – for her Ph.D. She also received in 2008 Australia’s ‘Unsung Heroes’ Award and was selected as one of the ‘UN 100 women in 100 years’ award among other awards. She investigated as a Co-Investigator on the ESRC-funded project ‘Religion, Nationalism and Gender in Transitioning Myanmar’ and is co-editor of ‘The Oxford-Myanmar Policy Brief Series’. Aligned with her professional interest in issues of gender equality, sustainable development and peace, Dr Mar is also an inspiring Burmese woman leader committed to social change, education, child protection and combating social violence; and she has extensive experience working with vulnerable Burmese communities.