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Message in a Bottle: A Gallery of Social/Political Cartoons from Burma

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In Burma or Myanmar where the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) seeks control over public discourse, social and political criticism must be carefully disguised. Cartoons, featured in privately published monthly magazines, play an important role in the circulation of critical discourse. Cartoons allow for multiple interpretations and thus can carry social messages through the strict censorship system. Eleven cartoons are presented, suggesting some current popular concerns. They satirize state propaganda and raise questions about the impact of new foreign investment. More generally, they reflect a worldview which sees norms of morality and rationality being steadily eroded under SLORC rule.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Anthropology University of Washington


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