Meet the Author: The Burmese Labyrinth – A History of the Rohingya Tragedy
April 28, 2021 - 14:00-15:30
In 2011, Myanmar embarked in a democratic transition from a brutal military rule that culminated four years later, when the first free election in decades saw a landslide for the party of celebrated Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. Yet, even as the international community was celebrating a new dawn, old wars were raging in the northern borderlands. A crisis was emerging in western Arakan state where the regime intensified its oppression of the vulnerable Muslim Rohingya community. By 2017, the conflict had escalated into a military onslaught against the Rohingya that provoked the most desperate refugee crisis of our times, as over 750,000 of them fled their homes to neighbouring Bangladesh.
Meet the author Carlos Sardiña Galache for a discussion about his book The Burmese Labyrinth (Verso 2020), in which he examines the deep roots behind the ethnic divisions that go back prior to the colonial period, and exploded in recent times. Using ethnographic and historical methods, the author gives an analysis of competing ethno-nationalisms and a nation in perpetual conflict with itself.