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From Across the River: Creative Change for Myanmar

4 November, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 5 November, 2023 @ 7:00 pm

Thousands fled to the Thailand border town of Mae Sot from Myanmar in the aftermath of the 2021 military coup. Among these so-called “newcomers” to differentiate them from the already established Myanmar migrant community in Thailand, are members of the civil disobedience movement (CDM), journalists, activists, and artists. To highlight their plight and resilience an exhibition of murals and drawings created by teaching artists-in-residence at Joy House will be displayed at SEA Junction in the weekend of 4-5 November 2023 from 11am to 7pm.

On the first day of exhibition on Saturday, 4 November 2023 at 5.00-7.00 pm, an opening panel will be held along with online live performances.  The panel will share insights into the mental health and psychosocial challenges faced by this undocumented community, and how community organizations are responding to their needs. The online performances will feature music, dance and martial art with performers (children and adults) affiliated with Joy House. The day after, on Sunday 5 November at 3.30pm there will be in-person music performance with Myanmar harp by Bangkok-based Co-Culture Ensemble. More details can be found below:

Saturday 4 November 2023, 5.30 pm – 7.00 pm

Opening with Virtual Performance Broadcast Live from Mae Sot

  • Bagan Dance by Joy House students
  • Fundamental Martial Art Performance (Martial Art)
  • “Loyalty of Blood”, Violin by Phoe San

Panel Discussion on Situation of “New Comers”


  • Htoo Chit, Director, Foundation for Education and Development
  • Nay Chi Win, Coordinator, Joy House.
  • Thet Swe Win, Founder and Executive Director, Synergy
  • Nyunt Naing Thein, public health expert


  • Rosalia Sciortino, Founder and Executive Director of SEA Junction

Closing with Virtual Performance Broadcast Live from Mae Sot

  • U Shwe Yoe and Daw Moe Dance by Hein Zar Couple
  • “The Dictatorship Must End”, Violin by Phoe San

Sunday 5 November 2023, 3.30 pm – 5.00 pm

In-person Performance

  • Co-Culture Ensemble with Burmese arp

Speakers’ Profiles

Nay Chi, currently the Program Coordinator at Joy House, a Mae Sot-based community center for those displaced by the current political crisis, is an advocate for children’s education. Over the past decade, she has worked as a Program Manager at BMTA (Burmese Migrant Teachers’ Association and was actively engaged in research and training projects, helping to improve education in Myanmar and across the border.

Htoo Chit, a migrant rights’ defender for the people of Myanmar in Thailand, is the founder of the Thailand-based Foundation for Education and Development (FED; see below). After arriving in Thailand as a political exile in 1990, Htoo Chit spent several years as teacher in refugee camps and activist on the Thailand-Myanmar border. From 1996 to 2002 he served as the chairman of the Relief Committee for Southern Area (RCSA) before founding FED. For his many contributions, he has received various international awards.

Thet Swe Win is a human rights activist who has led numerous campaigns to counter hate speech, Buddhist nationalism, and anti-Muslim and anti-Rohingya discrimination and violence. He is also the founder of Synergy – Social Harmony Organization, which seeks to strengthen social cohesion in Myanmar and now also across the border. He has received the prestigious Human Rights Tulip award of the Dutch Government.

Nyunt Naing Thein, graduated as a medical doctor from Yangon and continued his study in public health, social work and counselling in Thailand and New Zealand. He has been working with migrants, refugees and displaced people from Burma since 1989 in the Thailand-Myanmar border with a number of local and international humanitarian organizations and has received various awards for his humanitarian efforts. Currently he is actively contributing to strengthen civil society organizations and providing training and mentoring to activists and practitioners along the border.

For more information, please email: info@seajunction.org or phone/wa: +66970024140

NB: SEA Junction events are free, but donation most welcome!


SEA Junction, established under the Thai non-profit organization Foundation for Southeast Asia Studies (ForSEA), aims to foster understanding and appreciation of Southeast Asia in all its socio-cultural dimensions, from arts and lifestyles to economy and development. Conveniently located at Room 407-8 of the Bangkok Arts and Culture Center or BACC (across MBK, BTS National Stadium), SEA Junction facilitates public access to knowledge resources and exchanges among students, practitioners and Southeast Asia lovers. For more information, please see www.seajunction.org, join the Facebook group:  http://www.facebook.com/groups/1693058870976440/ and/or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @seajunction.

Joy House is a community healing center in the border town of Mae Sot, Thailand offers free classes in visual and performing arts and wellness to children, youth, and adults from Myanmar and Thailand. Serving as a sanctuary for stress relief through positive creativity, it aims to foster friendship between Thai and Myanmar communities while building youth development skills. For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/joyhousecenter/.

Foundation for Education and Development (FED), also known as Grassroots Human Rights and Education (GHRE), empowers Burmese families in Myanmar and Thailand to achieve their basic rights by providing education, social services, and advocacy. Since 2004, it has operated mainly in Southern Thailand and along the border at Ranong and Mae Sot. For more information, please see  https://fedgrassroots.org/.


4 November, 2023 @ 5:00 pm
5 November, 2023 @ 7:00 pm
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