17) Rap Against Junta Blood#2
Rap against Junta.

Art in Exile: Burmese Artists in Thailand

Burmese artists make art in exile in Thailand, finding refuge and showcasing cross-border solidarity for artistic freedom.

For close to 30 years, Burmese artists have found refuge in Thailand, escaping waves of turmoil at home, while using their art to keep the world’s eyes on Myanmar. Sudarat Musikawong delves into this history of the role artistic spaces, such as SEA Junction, have played in supporting Burmese art in exile. She interviews Jørn Middelborg of Thavibu Art Advisory, Tim Tint, an artist and curator, art historian Diana Zaw Win (pseudonym) and finally, Ko Aye Win from Rap Against Junta, learning more about the successive waves of Burmese artists who have continued to courageously push the boundaries of freedom of expression in Southeast Asia.

Listen to the podcast below or on Soundcloud. 



  • A viral post on Instagram of police arresting a woman.

Links to venues, organisations, artists and arts works mentioned in the podcast:

Southeast Asia Junction

Women Out On the Streets for a New Burma

Defiant Art

Stand for Democracy

Nova Gallery

WTF Gallery and Cafe- Free Burma Events/ A Better World is Possible

Cartel Artspace

Jim Thompson Art Center, Missing Links

Maiiam Museum-Chiangmai

Suvannabhumi Art Gallery-Chiangmai

Thavibu Art Advisory

Art i.e (Art in Effect Gallery)

Chaw Ei Thein, Richard Streitmatter-Tran and Aung Ko, September Sweetness, Singapore Biennale, 2008

Sawangwongse Yawnghwe, The Myanmar Peace Industrial Complex, Map III, 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT9), 2018

Myint Swe, Death Row at Insein Prison, 2003

Graffiti artist,  Bart was not Here

 Fear Age Man or Stone Age Man Instagram protest art 2021

 Official Music Video, Blood by Rap Against Junta

 Dechatorn “Hockhacker” Bamrungmuang, of Rap Against Dictatorship

 Nas (Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones)

 The late rapper and MP, Phyo Zeya Thaw

Official Lyrics Video, Star by Ma Thazin Nyunt Aung’ 

Further reading:

Middelborg, Jørn. (2021), Myanmar Political Art, (Bangkok: Thavibu Art Advisory).

Naziree, Shireen. (2009), Burma: The Quiet Violence, Political Paintings by Myint Swe, (Bangkok: Thavibu Gallery).

___. (2014), Off the Wall: Thu Myat and Wunna Aung, An Exhibition of Urban Art from Myanmar, (Bangkok: Thavibu Gallery). 

Raise Three Fingers for Democracy – Myanmar.

Zaw Win, Diana. “My Own Words Beyond Trauma: On Myanmar Art During the Spring Revolution 2021,” Art & Market (31 July 2021):

___. (2021) “Balling Our Fists and Laughing Out Loud: Myanmar’s Spring 2021,” Unlirice Volume 00.


Project Lead Researcher and Interviewer: Sudarat Musikawong

Audiocast Editor: Sharmilla Ganesan

Interviewees: Jørn Middelborg, Tim Tint, Diana Zwa Win and Ko Aye Win of Rap Against Junta

Music credits: Blood, Rap Against Junta, Star, Ma Thazin Nyunt Aung, Inspiring Cinematic Ambient by Lexin Music

Special Thanks and Acknowledgements:

The many Burmese artists who struggle for democratic change, Lattapol Jirapathomsakul, Rosalia (Lia) Sciortino Sumaryono, Ko Aye Win , Tim Tint, Kathy Rowland, and Sharmilla Ganesan.


This audio production was produced as part of a project researching arts and culture in Southeast Asia, organised by ArtsEquator.com. The project is funded by the Swedish Arts Council. For more content produced under this pilot project, go here.


About the author(s)

Sudarat Musikawong investigates cultural politics in Thailand. Her publications include “Notes on Camp Films in Authoritarian Thailand (2019),” "Film is dangerous (2022)" in Southeast Asia Research Journal and “Art for October Thai Cold War State Violence in Trauma Art,” positions: east asia cultures critique, Spring 2010.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top