This event will feature the screening of a short documentary about two teenagers affected by conflict in Burmas Rakhine state. Phyu Phyu Than, a Rohingya Muslim girl, and Aung San Myint, a Buddhist, were both displaced by communal violence in 2012. Interviews filmed over two years explore their ideas about each others communities, their aspirations for education and the possibility of reconciliation.
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmaker Jeanne Hallacy, U Myo Win of the Smile Education and Development Foundation (Yangon) and Kenneth Wong from the Department of South & Southeast Asia Studies at UC Berkeley in conversation with Eric Stover and Andrea Lampros from UC Berkeley's Human Rights Center.
Smile Education and Development Foundation (SEDF) was founded in 2007 in response to rising intolerance and discrimination in Burma. SEDF began working with religious leaders and schoolteachers to promote religious tolerance and civic consciousness, and more participatory learning approaches in educational institutions. SEDF expanded its work to train youth, women and human rights defenders on peace building across Burma.
U Myo Win was born to a Muslim family in a suburb of Yangon. In 2006 he initiated the inter-faith program of Shalom foundation, which continues its work today. In the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, Smile delivered emergency healthcare services in affected areas of Yangon division and the Delta region. Working with Doctors Worldwide, Smile operated mobile clinics in vulnerable rural communities when the military government barred access to humanitarian aid.
U Myo Win received a degree in Islamic theology and in 2004 completed a graduate degree in psychology from the University of East Yangon. In 2008, he received the Chevening Fellowship to pursue studies in conflict resolution at the University of York.
Jeanne Hallacy has lived in Thailand for decades, producing stories about human rights and social justice issues in Southeast Asia. She served as the Director of Programs at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand from 1997-2010. She is the director of the award-winning InSIGHT OUT! Photo Storytelling project that trains children in conflict areas to create media.
Aside from Sittwe, her other films include This Kind of Love (2015), a profile of Burmese human rights activist Aung Myo Min; Into the Current: Burmas Political Prisoners (2012); Mercy (2002) about a Thai girl who lost her family to AIDS; and Burma Diary (1997), a journal of a refugee family displaced by war.
Kenneth Wong is the Burmese language lecturer in the Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies at UC Berkeley. Born in Yangon, he has lived in the Bay Area since 1989. He is a writer and poet, and has also translated many works of modern Burmese poetry into English. His own work and his translations can be accessed via his online blog, kennethwongsf.blogspot.com.