Past Event


‘Building Kachin’: Everyday Youth Action in Kachin State of Myanmar

8 May 2017 13:00–14:30

Institute of Development Studies, Library Road, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RE

In 2011 Myanmar started a journey of political transition following nearly five decades of military rule. In 2016, when the new government came to power under Aung San Suu Kyi, she prioritised the national peace process.

The Peace Process is challenged, however, by ongoing violent conflict between the state military and armed ethnic groups in parts of the country and deep divisions between ethnic Burman and other ethnic groups. Kachin state, inhabited by ethnic Kachin and other ethnic groups, is one of these conflicted states, where the Kachin Independence Organisation controls part of the territory and has much support from the population.

In this seminar, Ja Htoi Pan Maran reflects on the political transition from the perspective of the people of Kachin state. The seminar will then present findings from a study on how young people in Kachin experience insecurity, and how they take different forms of social and political action in response to everyday challenges. The study shows how a growing sense of Kachin nationalism informs a range of individual and collective actions aimed at ‘building Kachin’.

About the Speakers:

Ja Htoi Pan Maran is an anthropologist and Associate Director of Kachinland Research Center, Kachin State, Myanmar. She obtained M.A (Anthropology) from Northern Illinois University, USA.

Sarah Wilson is an independent researcher. She works with young people on participatory action research projects, specialising in conflict-affected areas.

Marjoke Oosterom is a fellow in the Power and Popular Politics cluster at IDS, working on the effects of violence and conflict on citizenship and agency, and youth employment and politics.



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