PanSuriya Art Post

Pamaa, art video at Pansodan Scene

Clémence B. T. D. Barret is a wiry, dark-haired French woman with strikingly large eyes and a quiet manner. She came to Pansodan Gallery to talk about art and her art video ‘Pamaa’ in particular. The video will be screened at Pansodan Scene on Friday 23 September 2016

The nine pieces of Pamaa are pieces of a puzzle. Each features a different young Shan migrant in Chiang Mai — some anonymised with a false name or face covered — who tells about what it means to be them there now. The work began three years ago, when she first went to Thailand. ‘The process is very slow. I get to know them first. With one, we had a good understanding in one month, that was the fastest. Some to five months of getting to know each other before I started,’ she explained. ‘I got to know many more who declined to participate. They were not comfortable that the video would be shown in Myanmar someday.’

There are no words. They explain the elements of their life as migrants through body language. ‘The body does not lie. Cannot lie. You can learn much more watching someone’s body than listening to their words,’ she says. The lack of words also reflects the voicelessness of the participants. They are invisible in Thai society, in their lives, as well. Clémence described how she was fascinated by watching how becoming visible through this project — being at screenings, having their pictures in magazines — also affected the participants. ‘It was the first time they had shared their story with a stranger. They had time to sit and reflect. Some of them found it liberating.’

Clémence has chosen the medium of video, in which she developed her skills by making documentaries for years before her feeling that she needed more freedom led her to turn her video to art. She has used it, like any artist, to explore something originating in her own experience: Otherness. Living in India, despite being deeply into the community, she also way always unmistakably the other.

‘I use art as a tool to confront viewers with an issue I find important. A possibility to approach it in a alternate way. When you are a migrant or a refugee you experience otherness…. The anti-refugee and anti-migrant rhetoric is the same all over the world. If I did this work in Europe, it would not be much different. Only the appearance of the people would be different. I hope to open some people. It’s a drop in the ocean — but it is very important for me to do work that is meaningful.’

‘The soundtrack is disturbing, on purpose. Some audience members may react badly to it,’ she warned. ‘I am curious to see what happens on Friday.’

Pamaa is part of a series on migrants, 18-12, after the International Migrants Day. You can see more about Clémence Barret on her website at

Interview 21 September 2016, with Nance Cunningham.

Pansodan Scene is at the corner of Maha Bandula and Pansodan, 144 Pansodan, on the second floor. Go up the staircase opposite the entrance to the temple. Admission s free, and all are welcome. Screening begins at 19:30, and the director Clémence Barret will be available for questions after the showing.



One Myanmar launch at Pansodan Scene
8 June 2016, 14:29
Filed under: book launch, documentary | Tags: , , , ,

The launch of the One Myanmar: The Voices of Change documentary and One Myanmar : The Faces of the Burmese Transition / Les visages de la transition Birmanie book, by Carine Jaquet will take place at 19:00-21:00, 10 June 2016 at Pansodan Scene. All are welcome.

The book exploring the diversity of Myanmar at a moment of history change is in French and English, generously captioned, and features a variety of photographers. One Myanmar will be for sale at Pansodan Gallery from Saturday 11 June 2016.



1 December 2014, 15:08
Filed under: documentary | Tags: , ,

Pansodan Scene, the ‘sister space’ of Pansodan Gallery started a new series of events at the end of November named Docs & Talks. The second screening partners with the We Women Foundation.

Invitation for the screening on December 3, 2014

Invitation for the screening on December 3, 2014

Pansodan Scene started its screening event, Docs & Talks on November 26, 2014 sharing the pleasure to watch documentary and experimental films, to talk about them and to meet the people behind the films. The Docs & Talks series wishes to remain open to various fields within the documentary and experimental genre with an objective to help the films reach a larger audience and allow the exchange of ideas around the different topics raised by the screenings. It is not the first time that Pansodan Scene will host screenings nor talks with filmmakers: Pansodan Scene’s choice to start the Docs & Talks events is to provide the opportunity to watch thought-provoking creations on a regular basis.

Emerging Women of Burma

The Pansodan Docs & Talks has chosen to show for its second screening a film made by We Women, an organisation dedicated to empowering women from the marginalized communities of Burma by providing professional and educational opportunities. The foundation builds capacity so that women are enabled to make and influence policy decisions instead of outsiders.

Emerging Women of Burma is based on an important question raised by the foundation: ‘what are the benefits for Burma as a fragile society for women to enjoy intellectual and academic freedom?’. The film explores hence the development and achievements of a number of women in Myanmar of distinctly different backgrounds, ethnicities and achievements who have all been nominated by their communities or their colleagues as emerging leaders. These are women who have achieved against the odds, who have stood up for what they believe in regardless of the risks to themselves. The film is founded on a number of interviews with these women about those who inspired or motivated them and what they see in the future for Myanmar. The film follows them in their daily lives allowing a deeper insight of the challenges they face. As part of the struggle of Burmese women for example is the traditional stereotypical role in which the society places them. The film shows the viewer the daily life of these women within this traditional context.

The second Docs & Talks will be organized on Wednesday 3 December, 2014 at Pansodan Scene. The doors are open from 6 p.m., the entrance is free. The screening will be followed by a session of questions and answers. The film is about 60 minutes, in English.

About the We Women Foundation

The We Women Foundation came to life in December 2009, founded by Ursula Cats, a Dutch anthropologist and drama therapist. With her history as a human rights activist and deep passion for the people of Myanmar, it was a logical step for Ms Cats to commit herself to working with the most vulnerable individuals within the current situation in Myanmar and northern Thailand. Research that Ms Cats conducted for the completion of her Master’s degree at the VU University in Amsterdam was the direct cause for the founding of the WW organization. This research focused on the living conditions of women in the refugee communities in the Thai province of Chiang Mai; specifically Shan women. The results showed that women are highly motivated to fight for equal rights and for the empowerment of women, as well as for the entire Myanmar community. The women described education and opportunities to learn as important tools of empowerment and a future aspiration. The results of this study were the vehicle which resulted the We Women Foundation.

More about the organisation:

Mystic Ball


Greg Hamilton became fascinated by caneball or chinlonthe first time he saw and heard one in action: in a Toronto park, in 1981.
The connection was deep, and he began coming to Ne Win-era Burma with the idea of developing his skills and eventually, bringing a team on an international tour. The tour never took place — in the 1990s when he was trying to arrange it, it was difficult to get a passport — and so we benefit from his Plan B: the documentary Mystic Ball. Mystic Ball will be showing at Pansodan Scene on Saturday 15 March 2014 at 6.30 pm. Greg Hamilton will be there, to introduce the documentary and answer questions.

Greg Hamilton came to Pansodan Gallery for an interview on 4 March 2014. He explained that when he first came to Burma in 1986, chinlone was considered a low-prestige, village and dusty street sport, and people were amazed but delighted by his serious interest.

Pansodan: What footage was hardest to cut out of the documentary?

ImageWell, we had shot three hundred fifty hours, which was cut to eighty-three minutes. In a way, the hardest to cut was the playing. I could have had it all just the game. But there were other things that were hard to cut. Like when I played music for elephants in Mandalay Zoo.

Pansodan: What gave you the idea to do that?

I started playing music for zoo animals in the 1970. I was thinking about the animals as being in prison. People were coming, looking, pointing, and no one was sharing anything with the animals. So I started playing music for them. Birds are most responsive, of course.

This time, I was playing for these elephants in Mandalay, and one had killed two people in the last year. The cameraman kept asking me to move closer and closer. It was raining, the ground was very muddy. I was kind of scared. So anyway that was an interesting experience.

Pansodan: What about women playing?

I think that the number of women playing has increased slowly here because of the modesty factor. Women don’t want to be seen in shorts. When I first came here, a mini-skirt would have been unthinkable. A lot of the women, if they got married, their husbands would forbid them to playing chinloun, because they didn’t want people seeing their legs. But maybe now that more girls wear miniskirts, there will be more women playing.

Pansodan: From your point of view, how’s the development in the game itself here?

The game has been evolving. It might be a thousand or a thousand five hundred years old. It is changing here, too. When I first came here, for example, the balls used to be a little smaller and the cane used to be much better. They can’t get really good quality cane now for balls. I still have some of the original forty balls that I got in 1986… I’ve been meaning to bring one back here to show them here.

The moves have been changing too. There are about two hundred named moves now, more and more. It is more acrobatic now, but less elegant. The older players put more emphasis on the pose, similar to dance poses that you took as you kicked the ball with a certain move. Now it’s got more of this breakdance, kind of young feel.