Reading Orwell in Rangoon

At the 2013 Irrawaddy Literary Festival, Burmese writers including Pascal Khoo Thwe and blogpoet Pandora talk about George Orwell in the country where he was once an imperial policeman.

In this video, made by The Orwell Prize, participants in Burma’s first literary festival talk about the meaning of Orwell’s work to them under the dictatorship and now, in a fragile transition to democracy. Speakers include author Pascal Khoo Thwe, Kyi Kyi Pyone, poet James Byrne, writer Shwegu May Hnin, Dr Justin Watkins,  poet and blogger Pandora, poet Zeyer Lin and Timothy Garton Ash, a former winner of The Orwell Prize for Journalism. Their comments suggest that censorship and fear have not yet entirely disappeared.

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Free Speech Debate is a research project of the Dahrendorf Programme for the Study of Freedom at St Antony's College in the University of Oxford. www.freespeechdebate.ox.ac.uk

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