“We have to rely on handicams. But the things we did with these things could shake up the people of Burma, as well as the people around the world.” (Quote from the movie Burma VJ)
It had been quiet for a while around Burma. The junta’s dictatorial regime kept the outside world from hearing anything of what was going on inside the country.
Break of silence
Then things changed rapidly. In summer 2007, all of a sudden international media were full of the events in Burma. The world saw monks leading the biggest rebellion yet against the junta. The protests were triggered by price rises for fuel, against a military dictatorship that has ruled the nation for four decades.
The junta didn’t waste any time. Foreign news reporters were immediately banished and the internet was censored. But a group of independent journalists, The Democratic Voice of Burma, we’ve talked about before, armed itself with digicams to record demonstrations. They gave a voice to the protestors and captured evidence of the military brutality that, at some point, even turned against the monks.
Sam (name changed for safety reasons) is one of those journalists. As with Joshua, I talked to him about his work in Burma and about the importance of digital technologies and social media. This is what he said: