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Thukhuma: Painting Myanmar in a Time of Transition

March 3, 2016 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Ian Holliday will give a lecture titled “Freedom and Fear in Myanmar” at 5:30 p.m. on March 3 as part of a preview exhibition of “Thukhuma: Painting Myanmar in a Time of Transition,” which will open in full on April 4. The preview event will take place in the Florence and James Peacock Atrium of the FedEx Global Education Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Myanmar, the Southeast Asian nation formerly known as Burma, was ruled by repressive military-backed regimes from 1962-2011. The junta that seized power at a time of mass political unrest in 1988 was internationally condemned for its gross human rights abuses, leading to Myanmar’s isolation on the world stage. A key figure in contemporary politics is Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and president of the National League for Democracy which won a decisive victory in the November 2015 national elections. In an iconic essay published 25 years ago, Aung San Suu Kyi identified a firm political priority: freedom from fear. Holliday’s lecture will discuss the present political situation in Myanmar, considering how the country’s new government might address that persistent fear and mark a decisive break with authoritarianism.

A reception will immediately follow the lecture, accompanied by a preview of the exhibition “Thukhuma: Painting Myanmar in a Time of Transition,” curated by Ian Holliday. The exhibition will open in full at the FedEx Global Education Center on April 4 and will feature paintings by 36 artists from Myanmar, which together present different perspectives on the current social and political situation in the country.

About the Lecturer

Holliday is vice-president and pro-vice-chancellor (Teaching and Learning) at the University of Hong Kong. He has a long-standing interest in and engagement with Myanmar and regularly takes undergraduate students to teach inside the country and along its border with Thailand. He has a major collection of contemporary paintings, many of which are on public display and most of which can be viewed at His most recent book is Burma Redux: Global Justice and the Quest for Political Reform in Myanmar (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011).

This event is free and open to the public.

This event is co-sponsored by the Carolina Asia Center and UNC Global.

Event contact: Ingrid Smith, manager of events and exhibitions for UNC Global,

Media contact: Katie Bowler Young, Director of Global Relations, UNC Global,, 919.962.4504


March 3, 2016
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Categories:
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FedEx Global Education Center Atrium
Chapel Hill, NC United States + Google Map


Carolina Asia Center
View Organizer Website

The Carolina Asia Center supports diverse Asia-related events. However, CAC co-sponsorship of any talk, seminar, documentary screening, film screening, performance or celebration does not constitute endorsement of or agreement with the views presented therein. As an academic institution, we value diverse perspectives that promote dialogue and understanding.

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