Crowdfunding finished
Welcome to the hottest spot in Southeast Asia - Myanmar, a country isolated for 50 years from the rest of the world and long dominated by a brutal military regime. Last year we filmed the documentary "Yangon Calling - Punk in Myanmar" which we now want to publish on DVD together with a book about Burmese subculture. There will be texts about hip hop, street art, metal, hardcore, and much more. The entire Burmese underground in a book.
4,801 €

About this project

Funding period 1/8/13 10:58 AM - 2/28/13 11:59 PM
Start level 4,000 €
Category Movie / Video
City Berlin

Project description show hide

What is this project all about?

"Yangon Calling" portrays a music scene that probably few could have imagined existed: the Burmese punk underground. Punk in Myanmar is far more than just a superficial copy of a Western subculture. After all, in the former military dictatorship the most rebellious of all subcultures faces what is still one of the world’s most authoritarian regimes. For young Burmese, punk is a way to confront the much-hated government. In their songs, they rail against social inequality in Myanmar and demand freedom and human rights.

Filmmakers Alexander Dluzak and Carsten Piefke filmed in Yangon for six weeks. They sneaked into the country as tourists and filmed secretly, with small cameras. "Yangon Calling" (voiceover: Bela B./Die Ärzte) is a film about life in an authoritarian state, personal tragedies and the fight for freedom in a country where punk is still true rebellion.
"Yangon Calling" has already been shown at numerous film festivals in Europe and Asia. Next year we will release the film on DVD along with a book on Burmese youth culture. The film and book will be bilingual German/English. To do so, we are now asking for your support.

Whether punk, metal, and hip hop - in Myanmar a youth movement means much more than merely copying western trends. The Burmese underground is a place of youthful opposition. Many musicians took great risks during the military dictatorship and are still doing so now. They criticize the government in their songs and address social injustices.
Some have paid a high price. For example, the country's most famous rapper was in prison for three years for criticizing the government. In 2007, when the monks took to the streets during the so-called "Saffron revolution", the punks where the first to join them.

The book will also basically deal with what it is to be young in a country which is just starting from scratch and is quite different from the countries in which most of us live.It will include articles, interviews, and photos, for example about Burmese street art artists who spray electrical sockets all across the city as a protest against the constant power outages; about the hardcore scene which collides with the relaxed Buddhist habits of most Burmese; or the youth organization "Generation Wave" which protested against the generals with rap songs and graffiti.

With "Fly Fast Records" we have found a label well-versed in Asian pop culture which specializes in the publication of books with DVDs and will release "Yangon Calling" along with the book. Despite Myanmar making headlines recently, it is a project for enthusiasts and needs some start-up financing alongside the heart and soul we have put into it. We therefore ask you to help us make this project reality.

What is the project goal and who is the project for?

The aim of the project is the publication of the 60-minute documentary "Yangon Calling - Punk in Myanmar" together with a book on Burmese youth culture. The film is finished and has been screened so far at many festivals in Europe and Asia. The book has also progressed; most of the stories have been researched and many good pictures have already been taken. Now we're down to writing the texts and thinking about layout and graphics.

Why would you support this project?

Because so far there is no film and book project about the Burmese underground and because, due to its history, youth culture in Myanmar is a social force - something it has long ceased to be in most western countries. For 50 years, Myanmar was isolated from the rest of the world; a young generation lives there who has dreams and yearns for a little normality, and this project is about them.

How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded?

A large part of the money goes to paying the artists who design the book. Added to this are license costs, for example for GEMA and images. The funding should also enable the freelance authors to write one or two weeks at a time without having to accept every job that comes along.

Who are the people behind the project?

The filmmaker and journalist Alexander Dluzak

The filmmaker and video editor Carsten Piefke

The photographer Matt Grace

And the journalist, filmmaker and publisher George Lindt

Alexander and Carsten have collaborated regularly for years. They met in the editing room of a Berlin TV production company where Carsten worked as a cutter and Alexander as TV author. Together, they have produced numerous contributions to culture and society magazines for Arte, 3sat and the ARD.

Their first joint documentary "Dragon Style - Hip Hop in China" was created in 2007 and has been featured in numerous film festivals and in television on ZDF Kultur. This was followed by "Yangon Calling - Punk in Myanmar" last year.

Alexander coordinates the work on the book and writes most of the texts. Carsten deals with the production of all film contributions. Matt creates the images for the book and writes texts.

They met at a punk festival in Myanmar. Matt comes from England, but has commuted for years between Myanmar and Thailand. The Burmese underground is one of his main topics. His photo series on punk in Myanmar appeared in the magazine Vice.

George Lindt is a journalist, filmmaker and director of the label "Fly Fast Records" specializing in Asian pop culture. In 2006, he published the documentary "Beijing Bubbles - Punk und Rock in China’s Capital" together with filmmaker Susanne Messmer. George manages the layout, distribution and marketing of "Yangon Calling".

Project updates

8/10/13 - <p>Lieber Unterstützer, die Bücher sind...

Lieber Unterstützer, die Bücher sind verschickt, einige von Euch bekommen aber auch noch Poster und MP3s, auf wen das zutrifft, der möge mir bitte kurz eine Email an Alexander{at)Dluzak(Punkt)de schicken, ich sende dann die Dateien. Viele Grüße! Dear Supporters, the books are sent out but some of you will also receive a poster or MP3, therefor I need your email addresses, so please send me an email to Alexander(at)Dluzak(dot)de and I send you the poster or mp3. Best regards!

8/8/13 - <p>Liebe Unterstützer, es hat alles etwas...

Liebe Unterstützer, es hat alles etwas länger gedauert als geplant aber seit gestern sind die Bücher auf dem Weg zu Euch, viel Spaß damit und noch einmal herzlichen Dank für die Unterstützung! Dear Supporters, it took a little longer than expected but we finally managed to send out the books yesterday so you should receive them very soon, thanks again for your support!

7/17/13 - <p>Liebe Unterstützer, wir sind mit Buch...

Liebe Unterstützer, wir sind mit Buch und DVD auf der Zielgerade, wir bitten noch um etwas Geduld, die Dankeschöns sind bald auf dem Weg zu Euch, noch einmal vielen Dank für die Unterstützung!!! Dear supporters, the book and the DVD are now nearing completion, we ask all of you for some patience, you'll get your rewards very soon, thanks again for your support!!!

3/1/13 - <p>Vielen herzlichen Dank für Eure...

Vielen herzlichen Dank für Eure Unterstützung!!! Wir arbeiten mit Hochdruck an der Fertigstellung des Projekts und werden Euch so schnell wie möglich die „Dankeschöns“ zukommen lassen. Noch einmal vielen Dank, dass Ihr dieses Projekt möglich gemacht habt. Bis bald! Matt, Carsten, George & Alex Thank you most sincerely for your support!!! We're working full steam on the final completion of this project and send you the rewards for your support as soon as possible. Thank you again for making this projekt possible. See you soo! Matt, Carsten, George & Alex

2/12/13 - <p>Liebe Unterstützer, Fans und Freunde...

Liebe Unterstützer, Fans und Freunde des burmesischen Undergrounds, es sind bereits mehr als 4000,00 Euro zusammengekommen. Herzlichen Dank für Eure Unterstützung! Die Fixkosten für das Projekt liegen noch weit höher, daher sind weitere Spenden herzlich willkommen. Viele Grüße und besten Dank! Dear supporters, fans and friends of the Burmese underground, we have already raised more than 4000,00 Euro. Many heartfelt thanks for your support! Since the fix costs are even higher, we still kindly ask for your donations. Best regards and many thanks!

1/15/13 - <p><br/>Liebe Unterstützer, Fans...

Liebe Unterstützer, Fans und Freunde des burmesischen Undergrounds, nach einer Woche sind bereits siebzig Prozent der Finanzierungssumme zusammen gekommen. Wir sind sprachlos, gerührt und danken Euch von ganzem Herzen für all die großen und kleinen Spenden sowie das damit einhergehende Vertrauen. Es fühlt sich verdammt gut an zu spüren, dass wir mit diesem Liebhaberprojekt auf Resonanz stossen und das motiviert uns natürlich, einen Gang hoch zu schalten und noch mehr Energie in dieses Projekt zu stecken. Lasst bitte nicht nach und helft uns, den Rest der Summe zusammen zu bekommen, vielen herzlichen Dank für Eure Unterstützung! Dear supporters, fans and friends of the Burmese underground, just a week has passed and we have already raised seventy per cent of the financing needed. We are speechless, touched and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all the big and small donations, as well as the confidence placed in us. It feels damn good to see that this project for enthusiasts has met with such response and of course this motivates us to continue our efforts. Please keep up your involvement and help us raise the remaining amount, many heartfelt thanks for your support!

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