The anti-coup tattoos of the Burmese demonstrators: resistance in the skin

Art is displayed everywhere through the demonstrations against the military coup in Myanmar. Artists shape the visual expression of the protests with illustrations of the deceased protesters, murals, roadside artwork or satirical protest placards that mock General Min Aung Hlaing, head of the coup . But as CNN reports, perhaps the most permanent mark of these protests is the anti-coup tattoo. Whether they live in a big city or in a small village, many Protestants wear a symbol of resistance on their skin, even the face of Aung San Suu Kyi.

“Tattoos are a lasting memory for your whole life, and a way to express our dreams. They cannot be removed and therefore show our solidarity. They unite us, us protesters.”, estimates Htun Htun, a resident of al town of Nyaung Shwe, at the microphone of the American media.

Htun Htun was among some 70 people who took part in a demonstration of people with tattoos last Friday. The event, organized by a local youth group, invited citizens to get tattoos in order to raise funds for the civil disobedience movement.

Eight tattoo artists inked dozens of participants who paid a minimum of $ 2. Each tattoo took about 20 minutes, and to go fast, participants had four styles to choose from: the face of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the words “Spring revolution”, the phrase “Kabar Ma Kyay Bu” (which is reference to a protest song and means “We will not forget until the end of the world”) and the ubiquitous “three-fingered salute”, taken from the films “The Hunger Games”, which has become a symbol of resistance during protests in Myanmar and neighboring Thailand.

In addition to this particular event, the protest has really won tattoo parlors for several weeks. “I don’t like military dictatorship so I tattoo those who share the same ideals as meA tattoo artist told AFP. The French news agency recalls that this is not the first time that political tattoos have been popular in Burma. With the approach of the country’s first democratic elections in 2015, after Almost 50 years of military rule, getting Aung San Suu Kyi’s face tattooed was very trendy, even more so after the big victory that brought her to power.

As a reminder, the putschist generals put an end to a fragile democratic transition on February 1, by establishing a state of emergency for one year and by arresting Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto head of government, as well as other leaders. of his party, the National League for Democracy.

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