In Burma (as I recently noted here) hip-hop has become a vehicle for dissent against the military junta. A new article in the Global Post profiles Generation Wave (GW), one well-known group of young Burmese activists who are using this music to stoke resistance.
GW itself was formed after the “Saffron Revolution” in September 2007 when rising fuel prices provoked thousands of monks to take to the streets in protest. Civilians joined the movement, but the military junta cracked down, leaving hundreds dead and thousands imprisoned.
Following the crackdown, a group of protesters, who had been friends since high school, started GW as a way to inspire new activists inside Myanmar. Having analyzed revolutions worldwide and the opposition movement in their country they decided to focus on non-violent resistance.
In two and half years, the group has carried out what they call “action campaigns” almost every week. Their main activities include anti-government graffiti in busy places, handing out pamphlets and writing and distributing political music.
In the music video (above) for their new song “Never Give Up,” which includes images of Aung San Suu Kyi and monks protesting in the streets, Generation Wave members 9KT and MK rap with masks on to conceal their identities. In one scene, to represent the 30 members of the group have have been arrested, the pair are singing behind bars. As 9KT explains:
“We are trying to tell the government, even if they imprison us they cannot stop us fighting for freedom; we will always carry on.”
“We are telling the people that they shouldn’t give up,” he said. “Burmese youth can’t be afraid of the Burmese junta, they need to fight for freedom in our country.”