In the spring of 2003, New York-based Director Holly Fisher and the two prominent Karen and Burmese dissidents, namely Ms Nay May-Oo Mutraw and Maung Zarni, travelled “illegally” to Eastern Burma’s civil war region of Karen State along River Salween and stayed at a Karen National Liberation Army stronghold. Incorporating the raw footage she shot during her first legal visit to Yangon and other Burmese cities, archival materials and her own war zone footage from the second “illegal” visit, Fisher created her “Deafening Silence”.
…Fisher’s compelling vision of Burma is essential viewing for anyone interested in this fast-changing Southeast Asian country. The military has softened its decades of strict dictatorship, but glimmers of democratic space may prove limited and even ephemeral. … freedom of expression remains tenuous, and the army continues offensives against minority peoples whose human rights have been particularly abused for decades.”
Thomas Lansner, Visiting Professor, School of International Affairs, Sciences Po, 1 September 2013
About the discussants
Director Holly Fisher has been active since the mid-sixties as an independent filmmaker, printmaker, teacher, and film editor. Read full biography: http://hollyfisherfilm.com/bio/
Naw May-Oo Mutraw is a well-known Karen peace-builder with the Karen National Union and formerly exiled dissident in USA. As a young middle-school student, she joined the 8.8.88 nationwide popular uprisings against the dictator Ne Win’s failed and brutal military dictatorship in 1988. Later she took refuge in the Karen National Union-controlled war zones of eastern Burma. In the early 1990’s May Oo won a refugee scholarship award to study in the USA where she was educated at San Francisco State University and Indiana University at Bloomington. As a student activist, she was involved in the Free Burma Coalition’s grassroots activism in USA. Subsequently, she returned to her Karen state where she served as ta senior adviser on ceasefire negotiations to the former Vice President of the Karen National Union.
Maung Zarni is FORSEA co-founder, a fellow with the (Genocide) Documentation Center – Cambodia, the Burmese coordinator of the Free Rohingya Coalition and founding coordinator of the Free Burma Coalition (1995-2004).