‘Reducing Inequalities in Public Engagement in Myanmar’ (RIPE)

RIPE is a global collaborative partnership between Enlightened Myanmar Research Foundation (EMReF) and Global Research Network on Parliaments and People (GRNPP), which aims to pursue ‘innovative and creative engagements with new audiences and user communities which stimulate pathways to impact’ (AHRC 2018). The project originally ran for a period of one year in 2019, but was granted an extension in order to generate greater breadth of awareness and advocacy around inequalities in Myanmar society and politics. 

The project team’s objectives are three-fold: (1) to help shape a socio-political environment in which under-represented and excluded groups have improved access to, participation in, and representation within the country’s democratic processes; (2) to establish a multi-stakeholder Alliance for Inclusive Democracy to identify and agree strategic priorities in reducing inequalities in public-political engagement; and (3) to unlock the potential of research-based creative collaborations in communicating the challenges and opportunities around more inclusive democracy.

Alliance for Inclusive Democracy

The Alliance brings together distinct communities of practice and interest groups from across Myanmar, in an unprecedented move, in order to identify and pursue strategies for deepening political access, participation and representation among under-represented groups in the country. 

‘Unlocking the Creative Potentials of Research’ workshop

In June 2019, PositiveNegatives brought together our P4P Grant recipients as well as artists from across Myanmar to connect with each other, and to collectively consider how research-based creative arts can contribute to socio-political change. The objective was to bring together these distinct communities of practice and provide them space to unlock the potential of researcher-artist collaboration. Read more about the workshop

Ahnu Thu Tay Tha Na Festival 

Inspired by conversations with people from across Myanmar over the course of the RIPE project, lead partners EMReF are organising a two day ‘festival’ that will bring the topic of more inclusive democracy directly to the public. Through a series of research-based art installations, screenings, and performances in the beating heart of Yangon, the public will be invited to engage with deeper democracy less as an abstract or political objective, and more as something which they can integrate into their own everyday actions. ‘Change’ explains Myat Thet Thitsar, EMReF Director, ‘begins with people’.

Exhibitors at the festival will include, amongst others, the Creative Collaboration Partnerships that were formed following the ‘Unlocking the Creative Potentials of Research’ workshop in June 2019. [insert project summaries and photos].

Chinbridge Institute are working with artists Ja Seng and Rung Cin Thang to communicate their research on Chin political participation through comics and postcards, which they will use to start conversations with their parliamentarians and engage people across the state. (Image copyright Ja Seng and Rung Cin Thang)
Cherry Soe Mon of Jeepyah Civil Society Development Organization (JCSDO) is collaborating with artists to produce large attention-grabbing images, illustrating her research on women’s political participation and stories of their journeys towards becoming parliamentarians, in order to begin conversations with people and politicians about gender-inclusivity (Image copyright Min Ar Kar Htet)
PEN Myanmar are collaborating with artists Dr Ma Thida, Mr Thura Tha Wah and Ms Htet Naing Zin to produce vox-pops on freedom of expression and hate speech, in order to start conversations and raise awareness about these issues on social media
Dr Pyae Sone Aung is collaborating with artists Sin Moe Aung and Ye Htet Thu to produce cartoons and graphically animated reports on the state of local governance that are easily accessible to citizens as well as parliamentarians (Image copyright Yone Kyi Yar)
Kachinland Research Centre are collaborating with artist Ms Ja Seng to depict issues relating to freedom of expression through acrylic and water colour paintings; these will be displayed in public and political spaces in order to generate engagement and reflection by politicians and people (Image copyright Ms Ja Seng)
Filmmaker Mi Mi Lwin and graphic artist Min Ar Kar Htet are collaborating on a video about the 2019 White Rose Campaign – a CSO-led peace initiative in the wake of violence against Myanmar’s Muslims during the year’s Eid celebrations (Image copyright Kuakatanews24.com)
Tavoyan Women’s Union are collaborating with the cartoonist Min Ar Kar Htet to illustrate their research on barriers to women’s participation in politics, for use in outreach and awareness programs in Dawei and via social media