Myanmar’s rapid change of political fortunes as of yesterday might easily come as woven at the centre of two narratives that seem to have defined Myanmar in the eyes of many: on the one hand, a crashing end to a story of hope and democratic change; on the other, the soft, yet inescapable, thump of a history of military despotism reasserting itself once more. Yet regardless of how political observers seek to fit the military’s re-ascendance to power into various stories of democracy, authoritarian retrenchment, and Myanmar history, it might be best to first spare a thought for what implications the coup carries for Burmese individuals on the ground.
On June 3 of 2019, the report exposed that between 2014 and 2018, 23% of all missing and murdered women across Canada were Indigenous. This fact is especially concerning given that Indigenous women only account for about 4% of Canada’s female population. As the country continues to struggle with deep-seated racism and sexism against Indigenous women, it is imperative that the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women be taken more seriously.
Reports of terrorist acts often plant biased rhetoric and paint the Muslim population as a whole in a violent and ruthless light. There is no undermining the severity of these attacks, however it is not uncommon for them to serve as a contribution to the common narrative depicting the Islamic religion as one with savage inclinations. Rather than painting the attacks as isolated anomalies, media outlets often use them to feed into an ever present mentality of bigotry, something that the Muslim community has had to work in one way or another, to prove themselves separate from.
The right to self determination is a founding principle of international law and the United Nations, but as Mariam Grigoryan points out, the case of Arsakh demonstrates that “in the world where oil money costs more than human lives, there’s not much hope for international law and human rights”.
President Trump has repeatedly refused to commit to accepting the results of a free and fair election. Not only do his words illustrate his deep disrespect for the central tenets of US democracy, they also raise serious concerns over what might occur if the incumbent refuses to accept defeat.
In a U.S. ICE detention centre, Irwin County Detention Centre, migrant women are undergoing forced sterilizations. Approaching this with the skepticism that ICE is hoping for, would dismiss America’s long history of eugenic practices and ask us to not believe the simple abuse of human rights that is now occurring in Georgia.
Despite ongoing United Nation-brokered negotiations for a ceasefire, a resolution appears to be far out of reach. On top of this, the COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the living and economic conditions of civilians. With food prices continuously on the rise, a depreciating currency, and a lack of fuel across the country, standards of living have been deteriorating at an unprecedented pace.
In this interview, I take you to Japan: an economic powerhouse, stable democracy, and a country known for its increasing reliance on migrant workers. Meanwhile, the Japanese government’s immigration laws and detainment practices also oppress and deprive the rights of many migrant workers, immigrants, illegal migrants and refugees – topics which are not commonly discussed in Japanese society for fear of governmental retaliation.
Wrapped in banners and posters with messages directed towards the state, the military and the world, the building looks like a box bursting at the seams with the dissenting voice of the country demanding to be heard. Paintings, professional and amateur, have turned every free space into a declaration of defiance.