During February 2010 I ventured into the country of Burma armed with a Sony HC-7 camcorder. Due to its current military regime, not a lot of people travel to Burma as they consider it dangerous or unethical. People have been gunned down by the military during peaceful protests, a lot of the people shot being monks. Because of its lack of tourism and globalization the Burmese culture remains somewhat intact; it is one of the few places that I have traveled that has not been ravaged by global corporations, to an extent that some of the locals I talked to thought McDonald’s was an actor.
In addition to this the Military government has driven the country to a state of poverty, where people make a living from working with their hands, crafting things such as lacquer-wear, textiles and sand paintings. The cars there are patched up and rebuilt antiques and the people there buy gold watches instead of putting their money in banks, which they cant seem to trust with the country in such a state. The young people who decide to study a tertiary education find themselves without a job, as Burma does not possess the infrastructure to give them a place to work. They are so scared of their government they refuse to make any comment about it, knowing spies are always about listening and that they could be dragged off in the middle of the night never to be seen again.
So as the rest of the world marches on with its own issues the people of Burma stick to their day to day life. They live off the land, they work with their hands and most importantly they understand the balance of man and nature. During my travels there I exchange words with the locals, I traded stories of what the rest of the world was like for insights of local culture and lifestyle. We trade our opinions of existence, purpose in life as well as our thoughts on who would win the world cup.
In retrospect I found that the best insight into Burma was all the footage I collected, a glimpse into their world, an insight into the places and people from a place so different to what we call home. If a picture paints a thousand words, then 24 pictures per second would surely say something. One of the best ways I have found to connect with footage, is the wonderful art we have developed called remixing. Remixing culture has become an increasingly important part of our interpretation, as we are creating more and more data each day, shouldn’t we be recycling and remixing our data? exploring different interpretations of footage that manifest themselves with each remix?
The footage was cut down and made into short little clips. They where put into little zip files including other creative commons footage from other parts of the world that we thought could be fun to work with. We have uploaded the zip files which are now available for you to download, experience, and remix.
So with this in mind we ask you to experience the culture of Burma and the rest of the world, to indulge, to get inspired and to create your own interpretation, remix our clips and add your own videos if you would like, to play with the footage and make it your own footage, to remix Burma, remix our species, remix the world.